pre·​op·​er·​a·​tive | \ (ˌ)prē-ˈä-p(ə-)rə-tiv How to pronounce preoperative (audio) , -pə-ˌrā- \

Definition of preoperative

1 : occurring before a surgical operation preoperative care
2 : having not yet undergone a surgical operation

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Other Words from preoperative

preoperatively adverb

Examples of preoperative in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The hours involved in medically optimizing a patient and planning postoperative care shifted from the inpatient admission to the preoperative period, where none of these efforts are financially captured. Prem Ramkumar, Forbes, 4 Sep. 2021 The error occurred after a hospital worker mistakenly put a preoperative mark on the wrong leg, the hospital said. Rob Picheta, CNN, 21 May 2021 Twenty small rooms for preoperative patients are being readied for coronavirus care, as is space that had been occupied by physical rehabilitation equipment and offices. Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Apr. 2020 Giulianotti greeted the support team and took me over to a monitor, to look at a preoperative black-and-white scan of the patient’s innards. D. T. Max, The New Yorker, 23 Sep. 2019 Difficulties with billing Medicare for preoperative consultations and restructuring how physicians practice are the biggest challenges to implementing this kind of model widely. Judith Graham, Washington Post, 25 Jan. 2018 Gabriella was undergoing a preoperative examination at three years old when doctors found a large hole in the upper-left chamber of her heart. Dennis Hohenberger, Courant Community, 18 Sep. 2017 Neither continuous passive motion nor preoperative exercise had an effect on pain, although the researchersdescribed the data on that as low-quality. Linda Searing, Washington Post, 21 Aug. 2017 A large public hospital, Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, eliminated preoperative testing deemed superfluous before routine cataract surgery. Chad Terhune,, 25 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'preoperative.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of preoperative

1886, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for preoperative

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The first known use of preoperative was in 1886

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Last Updated

12 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Preoperative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of preoperative

: happening before an operation


pre·​op·​er·​a·​tive | \ (ˈ)prē-ˈäp-(ə-)rət-iv, -ˈäp-ə-ˌrāt- How to pronounce preoperative (audio) \

Medical Definition of preoperative

1 : occurring, performed, or administered before and usually close to a surgical operation preoperative care preoperative medication
2 : having not yet undergone a surgical operation preoperative patients

Other Words from preoperative

preoperatively adverb


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