Elective surgeries

Dr Manuj Wadhwa
COVID-19 has transformed the world to an extent that it seems the only two keys that are actually functional in our lives are : pause and reset .Be it economy, education, health care or any other sector the impact of the crisis seems to have left us grappling with the perplex situation.
COVID-19 seems to have over shadowed to an extent that we almost forgot the existence of other diseases and their consequences if ignored. These could prove life threatening or even fatal in many cases.
Elective care and surgeries were deferred and whole focus was shifted to cater the critically ill people because of COVID-19. Orthopedic surgeries were no exclusion.
Many patients who had planned their knee/hip surgeries postponed either due to fear of visiting hospitals while there was a sudden surge in the number of COVID cases or social distancing, quarantines and lockdown compelled patients to stay at home only. Mostly patients preferred either tele or video consultations. But it is important to understand that for most orthopedic patients physical presence is important to access the actual condition.
Many orthopedic surgeries like trauma and fractures never halted even during the pandemic but many elective surgeries of knees, hip, shoulders, wrists were put on a hold. It is important to understand that postponing an elective surgery for too long can lead to undesired complications and consequences.
Now as the number of COVID-19 cases are on a decline, it is the right time for the patients to go in for the surgeries that were postponed ,to avoid any further deterioration.
Why wait till the quality of life and health deteriorates?
Many patients are waiting in desperation to get relief from the pain that has restricted them from doing daily activities. Physical pain with mental trauma are definitely affecting the patients.
Restarting elective and non urgent surgeries is the need of an hour.
Returning and resuming safely with all set protocols to minimize the risk of infection is important.
Testing for COVID-19 before taking up the patient for surgery, COVID specific modification like use of PPE kits in operation theaters, strict sanitization and cleanliness protocols in the hospitals, minimizing the number of visitors and attendants for the safety of the patients and staff are necessary.
With a roadmap to resume elective surgeries safely the patients can trust the healthcare facilities and go ahead with the decision to bounce back in life with full mobility and excellent recovery.
(The author is Chairman and Executive & Director Elite Institutes of Orthopeadics & Joint Replacement PARAS Hospitals Panchkula)