Surgery During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Everyone seems preoccupied with COVID-19 at the moment, and it’s for a good reason. COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a recently discovered coronavirus. When infected, you can experience respiratory symptoms similar to a cold or flu, including fatigue, fever, and dry cough. Your symptoms can range from very mild to severe, and you can spread the virus without having symptoms at all. 

Unfortunately, this highly contagious infection can cause severe illness for 1 in 6 people, which is leading to several changes within the health care community. One big change involves postponing elective surgeries. But why? And how do you know when a surgery can wait?

Scott deVilleneuve, MD, of Surgical Associates of North Texas, offers the following general guidelines on surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 and elective surgery

Officials in the United States anticipate a strain on the health care system, given the number of COVID-19 cases seen around the world. In response, health officials are preparing for a surge in people requiring medical care. 

Hospitals and clinics are trying to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure to patients and health care providers. Hospitals and clinics are also working to conserve certain medical items so they’ll be on hand if needed for critically ill patients in the weeks and months to come.  

Examples of these medical supplies include:

As a result, the Surgeon General and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are recommending postponing many nonurgent appointments and elective surgeries across the United States.   

Understanding elective surgeries

Generally speaking, an elective surgery is a procedure you can safely schedule in advance. These types of treatments can help improve your quality of life as opposed to treating a life-threatening condition. 

At Surgical Associates of North Texas, Dr. deVilleneuve performs a wide range of elective procedures. Some of the elective surgeries he performs include the following: 

While some of these procedures can wait, others can become an urgent issue ― such as needing emergency gallbladder surgery to address serious complications. Dr. deVilleneuve can work with you to determine if your condition requires immediate attention or if you can safely wait to undergo surgery at a future date.

Do note, however, that Dr. deVilleneuve still performs some elective surgeries on a case-by-case basis. He can even perform some procedures at his office using local anesthesia. In the future, he may be able to perform procedures that require a high level of anesthesia from his office as well.

Surgeries getting top priority

Unlike an elective surgery you can safely delay, some procedures can’t wait, because they address a specific medical condition. These cases often involve initial treatment at an urgent care facility or emergency room, including:

If you need surgery, Dr. deVilleneuve can help determine if you require medical treatment immediately, if it’s safe for in-office treatment, or whether you should postpone your procedure until a later date.

To learn more about getting surgery during COVID-19, book an appointment online or over the phone with Surgical Associates of North Texas today.

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