The issues playing out on social media related to the Coronavirus change daily and hourly. The primary role of Surgeons in this current climate is to take care of the patients in our charge and to facilitate the best care of patients who have been affected by the virus. By our very nature surgeons are uncomfortable being on the sidelines and inactive. Unfortunately this new role for Surgeons is perhaps the best thing we an do to help our colleagues treating the virus patients. Surgery is a very equipment intensive specialty. Consequently even the small procedures we use requires the utilization and disposal of equipment that is in high demand and short supply right now. We have been asked by our government, hospitals, and surgical societies to stand down for now and to stop performing procedures that are not critical/urgent.
For example the State of Maryland recently asked that we “cease all elective and non-urgent medical procedures effective at 5 p.m., Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and not provide any such procedures for the duration of the catastrophic health emergency.”
Elective procedures are considered non-urgent or non-emergency procedures or surgery which, if delayed, do not place a patient’s immediate health, safety, or well-being at risk, or will, if delayed, not contribute to the worsening of a serious or life-threatening medical condition.
In the short term this means that elective surgical procedures have been cancelled. Any patient requiring urgent/emergency procedures will still get the care they need but any procedures that can be delayed for a few weeks will be need to be placed on hold to preserve resources at the hospitals to care for Coronavirus patients. Once the crisis has started to pass patients will be placed back on the surgical schedules.
In the interval our office is open. We are going to continue to see patients both in person and via Videoconference ( FaceTime/Google Duo). Even though we may not be able to do elective procedures at the hospital and at our surgical center we can put plans in place to take care of you as soon as possible when the crisis has passed.
Thank you for your patience.
Drs. Gillian and Lee
The Staff of VHHI