Expect to have your blood drawn on more than one occasion while preparing for surgery. Beyond the tests completed to diagnose your condition, you will be given numerous tests to assess the function of your vital organs. Blood will be drawn to determine the number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells (RBCs) and infection-fighting white blood cells (WBCs) you have, as well as the number of platelets.
Unusual values in these numbers may require a postponement of your surgery until it can be determined why you have abnormal results. In most healthy people, these tests comes back normal.
The next test is called a coagulation profile, sometimes referred to as a PT and PTT. This test is designed to determine if your blood clots in the normal fashion. As you can imagine, performing surgery on a patient whose blood doesn’t clot normally can be quite a challenge.
Medications can be administered to temporarily correct abnormal blood clotting; however, if you are scheduled for elective surgery and you have a disorder of coagulation, your surgeon will want to know where the problem lies and to the problem can be corrected prior to your operation.