Pre Operation Tests (Pre-OP)
What Are Pre-Op Tests and Why Are They Necessary Before Surgery?
Nobody likes to do surgery but, in some cases, this type of medical procedure is necessary to save your life. Whether it's a complicated operation such as a heart transplant or a simple one such as removing your appendix, it's important to ensure the coagulation ability of your body. Coagulation happens when blood clots are formed to close up wounds and prevent excessive bleeding.
If your body cannot heal cuts successfully, you might experience a lot of health problems after your surgery. This is where pre-op tests come into play. The Prothrombin and Partial Thromboplastin Times are two tests that look at your body's coagulation ability. Keep reading to learn more about blood coagulation, bleeding disorders and what might cause them.
What is Prothrombin?
Prothrombin is a protein made by your liver that helps in the coagulation process. It is transformed into active thrombin when your blood starts to coagulate. A prothrombin time test is useful to see how quickly your blood coagulates. If the prothrombin time is too long, this means that your body encounters difficulties when healing wounds and cuts.
At the same time, prothrombin needs to be monitored in patients who take blood-thinning medication such as warfarin. This type of medication is administered to people who have a severe coagulation disorder. If your prothrombin time is normal, your body is likely to heal up quickly after surgery and you have nothing to be worried about.
How Are the Results Interpreted?
As part of your pre-operation tests, you need to do a prothrombin time test and a partial thromboplastin time test. Both tests are required to check your body's coagulation ability. The results usually get back in just a few business days and you can interpret them based on reference values you can find online. Your primary healthcare provider will also help you interpret these results.
For example, if both your Prothrombin Time and Partial Thromboplastin Time are prolonged, this usually means that your body lacks important coagulation factors such as I, II, V or X. This can be caused by various health conditions including serious liver disease. Alternatively, these times can be prolonged because of disseminated coagulation factors in the blood.
If the prothrombin time is prolonged but the partial thromboplastin time is normal, this usually means that your body lacks coagulation factor VII. This can be caused by a deficiency in vitamin K, severe liver disease and other health conditions.
In some cases, your prothrombin time might be normal, but your partial thromboplastin time might be prolonged. This means that your body has insufficient VIII, IX and X coagulation factors and your wounds will not heal properly. Such a health condition can be caused by Willebrand disease, lupus anticoagulant and other problems.
Finally, you can also be lucky and have normal coagulation times for your prothrombin and partial thromboplastin. In this case, you benefit from normal coagulation abilities and your wounds will heal up quickly after surgery. Mild deficiencies in coagulation factors might be present in your blood, but they are usually insignificant and don't affect the healing process.
What Causes Bleeding Disorders?
Bleeding disorders are health conditions in which your body bleeds very easily. For example, you might have bleeding gums, heavy menstrual periods, nosebleeds or experience blood in your stool and urine. These symptoms are not normal and they usually signify that your blood doesn't have enough clotting factors or they don't work properly.
For example, prothrombin and other similar substances known as platelets accumulate in places where you have been cut or injured. This is an automatic process and helps to close the wound and prevent infection. A person with a bleeding disorder might not heal up properly and this can be dangerous.
Different health problems can cause bleeding disorders. For example, serious liver disease or a vitamin K deficiency can cause a bleeding disorder. Some conditions are inherited such as hemophilia. This condition is caused by a lack of coagulation factors. It can also affect the internal organs, muscles, and joints.
Bleeding disorders can also be caused by blood thinners. If you take blood-thinning medication, it's important to do a prothrombin time test to monitor your body's coagulation ability. Fortunately, prothrombin time tests are affordable and you can easily order them online from reputable vendors.
What Are the Symptoms of Coagulation Disorders?
In rare cases, you might experience certain symptoms of coagulation disorders. It's important to pay attention to these symptoms because they signal your body's reduced ability to heal cuts and injuries. For example, extreme fatigue and blood in the urine or stool might mean that your body lacks key coagulation factors or you're struggling with a more serious health problem.
At the same time, if you bruise easily and cuts or scratches don't heal up quickly, this also could be a sign of severe coagulation disorder. In some cases, these symptoms are accompanied by nosebleeds that have no real cause. You might be dealing with diabetes, autoimmune disorders or a health problem that limits your body's natural coagulation ability.
Finally, some people also experience sudden pain or warmth in joints or muscles. This can also be caused by internal bleeding as a result of a coagulation disorder. In some cases, this can be accompanied by double vision or even frequent vomiting. You shouldn't ignore these symptoms because internal bleeding is never a good sign. Your body is struggling with impaired clotting ability and you should do something about it as soon as possible.
Order Your Pre-Op Test Today!
Ensuring that your blood coagulates well before doing surgery is vital for the success of your operation. These two tests are very important and you can now order them online without asking your doctor first.
Go to DiscountedLabs.com today and get your pre-operation blood tests at an affordable price. These blood labs are accurate, they can be done before any surgery and you usually get the results back by email in just a few business days.
Prothrombin Time Test and INR (PT/INR): MedlinePlus Medical Test
Partial thromboplastin time (PTT)
Bleeding Disorders - Hematology.org