Performing a chest X-ray on patient prior to surgery is only necessary if the patient has a cardiopulmonary disease or if perioperative management would be significantly affected by the presence of lesion visible on a radiograph.


Indications for performing a chest X-ray prior to surgery:

(1) history significant cardiovascular disease

(2) history of or risk factors for significant pulmonary disease

(3) a history of cancer (other than superficial skin cancer)

(4) signs and symptoms of respiratory disease (cough, sputum production, etc.)

(5) signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease

(6) history of invasive thoracic procedure since last chest X-ray

(7) potential exposure to tuberculosis or deep fungal pathogen, especially if symptomatic

(8) history of an abnormal trachea or the presence of risk factors associated with an abnormal trachea (rheumatoid arthritis, other)

(9) recent thoracic trauma

(10) current surgery to involve thorax


Exception: Adequate chest X-ray done within the past year and clinically stable in the interval since.


A patient with none of these findings probably does not need to have a chest X-ray performed prior to surgery,


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