From an interview with
Dr. Craig Selander
McLeod Loris Seacoast Surgery
The coronavirus curve is flattening and McLeod surgeons’ offices are once again open for elective procedures. McLeod General Surgeon Dr. Craig Selander explains the safety procedures in place and why people shouldn’t wait to call.
Here’s a summary of Dr. Selander’s comments:
At the height of the pandemic, I would estimate a 50%-60% drop in the number of patients we would typically see in our office.
We know for cancer that time is of the essence. And we have lost some time here. With some of the more urgent diseases, such as appendicitis, patients are presenting a lot later than what they typically would. For what is often a routine laparoscopic operation with a less than 24- hour hospital stay and fairly rapid recovery afterwards, cases can turn into ruptured appendicitis with lengthy hospitalization and extended recovery afterwards.
A lot of patients we see have chronic issues — such as hernia disease, chronic gallbladder disease, other simple skin lesions, which could be benign or malignant — and these people waited to seek care during the pandemic.
We have now resumed elective surgery. Patients may see some differences, including COVID-19 screening with the actual laboratory tests prior to any elective surgery. We have universal mask precautions for both patient and visitors. Currently, we are allowing the resumption of one visitor per patient. At the height of the pandemic, many hospitals including ours, had a “no visitor” policy. That was tough for patients and we realize that’s an important part of the support and healing process.
For our offices, we’ve transitioned to screening at the offices, trying to identify any patients that do pose a risk. We have universal mask precautions in place for patients, visitors and staff members. Additionally, we are spacing out waiting room chairs and observing social distancing elsewhere.
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