Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Pre-Op Proceedures & Tests

One thing we all want is to put our trust in our those who treat us. And most of us do. There are occasions when a professional tells us something, it may make us feel uncomfortable. Questions pop up in your mind.

  • Have they done all the could have?
  • Are there other options other than what was discussed?
  • What is the likeliness of the side affects?
  • Are they after my money or is MY health and best interest their number one priority?

Doctor O'Malley and Doctor Weinstein of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania, are very through. How refreshing is that? I admit, getting all the information needed and getting all the tests arranged before my first appointment with them has been a lot of work. It is very comforting knowing they truly do have MY Health and Best Interest as their number one priority!

They have ordered a few tests before I make my trip over to Philly. If you are lucky enough to be considered a candidate here are some tests you may have to undergo. Each person may vary depending upon your medical history.

  • H and P
  • Blood work such as PT, PTT and Chem 7.
  • EKG, Chest X-Ray and CT Scan along with an MRI.
  • Normal first time paperwork listing allergies, family history ect.

H&P is your History and Physical... like that coversheet you fill out at the doctor's office every year. Asking you thousands of questions... I call them the "ever had" questions. PT and PTT is a "timed" bleeding test. It measures how quick your blood clots etc. etc. People taking blood thinners have to be very careful before a surgery... this is routine for surgery patients along with the Chem 7.

The liver functions probably is in conjunction with the PTT since the liver filter's your blood, they want to make sure everything is working properly. And my best guess about the Thyroid is they don't want any surprises when they get in there, like a goiter (benign tumor) growing on your thyroid. Since I am so slim and having such a high metabolism rate, I assume they probably suspect hyperthyroidism, but nothing to worry about there. Leave no stone unturned.

Even taking something as mild as aspirin or ibuprofen can affect the clotting of blood during surgery. Some vitimans and herbal product will counter act with other meds given during surgery as well, the way I understand it. Rule of thumb is do not take these things two weeks before hand Unless your Doctor approves of it. When in doubt.....ASK!

I will have to see a Doctor of Internal Medicine to get these tests done for pre-op clearance. MAKE SURE the Interest is willing to do so if you are in another state. I almost did not get one to help me with this because of that very reason.Save all your documents and records. You will need to bring them with you. If you do not have them, ask for them.Last thing I need to do is get a Gastrostomy Tube. Different types are available, You should research it and see what is best for you and make sure the Doctor can put in what you request. Some Gastro Doctors only put in certain types.

Why do you need it? So you do not starve! During some surgeries IE: Grafts of the tongue or during radiation, you may not be able to swallow on a lot of days since this is involving the mouth and throat. The G-Tube allows you to eat. Some patients refused this and lost over 100 pounds or more and became very ill from this. Do not be stubborn or a hero, you will wish you did get it done when you can not eat anything for days or weeks.


Mags said...

This is great information that you provided John. I am glad to see that you are able to write about this. You are in my thoughts!

Teresa Hartman said...

Thank you so much for your comments. I hope I have your permission to post them to my oral, head, and neck cancer blog, Cheekylibrarian (http://cheekylibrarian.blogspot.com). You have great information! I wish you the very best in your upcoming treatment. It sounds like you have the right folks on your side in this.