Presurgical Evaluation Clinic (PEC)

Getting a Preoperative Evaluation Before Your Surgery

You will receive anesthesia to make you unconscious or extremely relaxed so you don’t feel pain during surgery.

Doctors trained as anesthesiologists or nurses trained as nurse anesthetists deliver anesthesia and are always present to monitor you during and after your procedure.

We begin working on your anesthesia before the day of your procedure. The Presurgical Evaluation Clinic staff at University of Iowa Health Care want to make sure you are fit to undergo surgery and receive anesthesia safely. We evaluate your health in the days and weeks leading up to surgery to prepare you for your surgery.

The Importance of an Evaluation

Our team of experts evaluate you either in a clinic or by phone about a week before surgery. Certain medical conditions or procedures determine whether we can talk to you by phone or need to see you in clinic.

The typical preoperative visit gives the surgery, anesthesia, and hospital care teams a good idea of your overall health and any concerns that should be addressed before the surgery can be done safely. In addition to asking questions, the teams will review your health history and results of tests and exams leading up to the surgery.

We will determine how certain factors might affect bodily functions during and after the surgery.

These factors include:

  • Previous heart surgery
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Shortness of breath
  • Previous strokes
  • Any anatomical variations that could affect breathing
  • Previous problems with anesthesia
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Nutritional status
  • High blood pressure

We may use the presurgical evaluation to prepare you for the surgery experience and to help reduce fears or anxiety. This can be especially helpful for children.

A Detailed Plan for Your Care

Based on all the information gathered, the health care teams put together a detailed plan that maps the safest ways for providing your perioperative care. The plan also builds in sub-plans so that if things change quickly in the operating room, your condition is taken into account for all possible next steps.

Evidence based on thousands of surgeries performed at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics each year points to better surgical outcomes when patients have an in-depth evaluation before surgery. The findings of the evaluation are shared with all care teams so that during the procedure, everyone caring for you is making decisions based on the safest outcome for you.

Prepare for Your Presurgical Evaluation

If you see any doctors or health care providers outside of the University of Iowa Health Care system, it is very helpful for you to send or bring your medical records with you to this appointment. If you see a heart or lung doctor, please contact them to inform them of your upcoming surgery to determine if they would like to see you before your surgery. Having your personal providers involved can be very helpful to us when determining a plan for your care.

Medical records that are helpful for you to fax or bring with you include your most recent:

  • Clinic note(s)
  • Lab results
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Echocardiogram
  • Stress test or myocardial perfusion scan
  • Chest x-ray
  • Carotid ultrasound
  • Pacemaker or implanted cardiac defibrillator interrogation

Records can be faxed ahead of time to our Presurgical Evaluation Clinic at 1-319-353-7923.

Care Team