Ask the doctor: What heart tests do I need before surgery for something else?

Ask the doctor

What heart tests do I need before surgery for something else?

Q. I have chest pain about once a month. Since it happens so infrequently and has been going on for years, my doctor says I don't need anything other than medicine to keep it under control. Now I need to have two operations, one to fix my cataracts and another to remove part of my colon. Should I start worrying about these heart pains?

A. Your question — Do I need to have my heart checked before having surgery for something else? — is extremely common. It is also a difficult one for cardiologists and internists to answer.

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