High Blood Pressure and Surgery

We have found that many patients without health insurance have medical conditions which need some attention before surgery can be safely performed. The most common of these conditions is high blood pressure.

A normal blood pressure is 120/70. A blood pressure reading consists of two numbers: systolic is the higher number, 120 is normal and diastolic is the lower number, 70 is normal.

High blood pressure should be treated in all patients. Mild high blood pressure is not a contraindication to surgery but very high blood pressure can make ansethesia unsafe. Patients with a diastolic of 100 or greater must be treated before they can undergo elective surgery.

We work very hard to identify medical problems in our patients before they travel to see us for surgery. The last thing that we want is for a patient to have a complication of surgery or anesthesia. We will cancel a planned surgery for a patient who we find has a medical problem that needs to be treated before surgery even if they have just flown thousands of miles to see us. To avoid canceling patients we ask all patients to know what their blood pressure is before they travel. These days anyone can get their blood pressure checked for free at their nearest pharmacy.

If your blood pressure is high we ask that you let us know before you make travel plans. In some cases we may prescribe medication and get a patient started in treatment for their high blood pressure. We then ask patients to follow up with a local physician.

There are excellent medications for treating high blood pressure that are generic, very effective, have low side effect profiles and are very inexpensive. Being uninsured is no excuse for not having high blood pressure treated.