Anesthesia Preop Evaluation Clinic (Pre-Admission Clinic)

Anesthesia and surgery affect your entire body, so it is very important for your surgeon and anesthesiologist, the two physicians who will care for you before and during surgery, to know as much about you as possible.  During your preoperative visit, an anesthesiologist, along with a nurse practitioner or physician assistant, will carefully evaluate your medical problems, obtain any additional information that may be needed from your family doctor or other hospitals where you may have been cared for, and order any necessary consultations or laboratory studies.  At this time, your anesthesiologist will also discuss with you your options for anesthesia during surgery, as well as pain relief following your procedure.  He or she will also discuss with you any changes in your medications which may be required by anesthesia or surgery, and may order some new medications to help prepare you for the day of surgery. 

Most patients visit the Anesthesia Preoperative Evaluation Clinic several weeks before they plan to have surgery at Penn State Hershey, as part of the process of preparation for surgery. The Anesthesia Preoperative Evaluation Clinic visit is designed to:

  • Insure that you are medically ready for surgery
  • Help you plan your anesthesia and postoperative pain relief
  • Help you prepare for your surgery

What will be done at my preoperative evaluation visit?

  • History and physical examination, usually performed by a nurse practitioner or physician assistant, to gather the information most relevant to your surgery.
  • Blood tests, if they are required.
  • Electrocardiogram, for most patients over age 45.
  • Chest x-ray for patients with respiratory or chest disorders, or those having surgery in the chest region.
  • Visit with an anesthesiologist.
  • Hospital preoperative registration for the surgical procedure.

Completion of all these services usually requires 1½ to 2 hours.

The Clinic hopes to assist you preparing for your surgery and postoperative recovery, as well as to minimize the time between your arrival for surgery and entering the operating room.      

Most commonly, your visit to the Anesthesia Preoperative Evaluation Clinic will be scheduled by your surgeon. However, if you find that this appointment time is not convenient for you, or you cannot allot sufficient amount of time ( 1 ½ to 2 hours) for the visit at that time, please feel free to call our Clinic at 717-531-6886 several days in advance to reschedule your appointment.

You may also wish to schedule an appointment with the Anesthesia Preoperative Evaluation Clinic, even though one has not been previously scheduled by your surgeon, or even to schedule an appointment for an anesthesiologist’s opinion regarding possible upcoming surgery, even if surgery is not planned, or is not planned for Penn State Hershey. We welcome these visits. The patients who most often benefit from a visit to the Anesthesia Preoperative Evaluation Clinic include:

  • Age: Patients <1 year old or born prematurely, and patients >45 years old (and especially older than age 65)
  • Patients who take 3 or more prescription medications
  • Patients who have or who have a close relative who has had complications from anesthesia or surgery
  • Patients who get short of breath when walking up a flight of stairs or get short of breath or turn blue when lying flat
  • Patients who weigh 1/3 more than their expected ideal body weight, or have a body mass index >30. This would usually include adults who weigh >220 pounds
  • Patients with behavioral disorders or other needs that would require special planning during their hospital care
  • Patients who have a history of diabetes, stroke, facial or airway abnormalities, or significant heart, lung, liver, or kidney disease
  • Patients who wish to speak to an anesthesiologist regarding special plans, or special needs or desires, for their anesthesia or surgery

When scheduling an appointment, it may be helpful to note that the Clinic is usually least busy, and appointments can proceed most quickly and predictably, either in the early morning (between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM), or the early afternoon (1:30 to 2:30).

The Anesthesia Preoperative Evaluation Clinic is open between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. The clinic may be reached at 717-531-6886. After business hours, please leave a message and we will call you back the next business day.

Directions to the Anesthesia Preoperative Evaluation Clinic

If you are arriving by car for your visit, you may park in the University Physician Center (UPC) parking lot or the Centerview Parking Garage.  The clinic is located in suite 1300 on the first floor of the UPC.  To access the clinic, enter the UPC building through entrance #4.  Suite 1300 is located just inside the entrance to the right of the outpatient pharmacy.  There is an information desk inside the entrance if you need assistance.

If you would like to view a map of the University Physician Center, or the Penn State Hershey campus, click here.

If you have other appointments at the Medical Center elsewhere on campus, you may take the campus shuttle which stops at the UPC building and the main hospital entrance.

What do I need to bring to my visit to the preoperative evaluation center?
It is important to get as complete a picture of your medical history as possible.  Therefore, in order to save you time during your visit, please bring all the information you have about the following:
  • All of your medications or a clear, printed list with their complete names, dosages, and how often you take them
  • A list of the operations you have had, including the hospitals at which they took place
  • The name and phone number of your family doctor and any other doctors who take care of you regularly (like your heart doctor or your lung doctor)
  • Copies of the reports of any recent tests that you may have had, particularly stress tests, ECHO cardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, or lung function tests. If you do not have the results of any of these tests, information regarding when and where they were performed would be helpful, including any phone numbers to which you may have access
  •  If you have a pacemaker or coronary stent, the card which goes with that device
  • Any recent laboratory studies you may have had outside of Hershey Medical Center
  • Preoperative Medical Questionnaire (to be Completed Before your Clinic Visit)
Laboratory studies which are usually performed before surgery for patients of various ages, and may be performed as part of the Clinic visit, are:

 

Age
Recommended Preoperative Laboratory Studies for Otherwise healthy Patients
 < 45 Years

None

(Pregnancy test indicated in women of child-bearing age for whom pregnancy cannot be excluded on the basis of menstrual or prior surgical history)

 > 45 Years

EKG

All Ages

Hemoglobin/Hematocrit – for all patients having major surgery involving the cranial, thoracic, or abdominal cavities, and/or for procedures for which the blood loss is expected to exceed 10% of the patient’s blood volume