LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- The governor’s order allowing more surgeries went into effect Monday, April 27.
Two doctors with Lafayette General Health System explain what procedures are allowed and what people can expect.
“We want to see those patients. We want to get them done, and we want to get as many of them done as quickly as we can but as safely as we can,” said Dr. Julie Broussard
Broussard is an anesthesiologist who also serves as chief of surgery for Lafayette General Health.
The governor’s order describes what medical and dental procedures are allowed: emergent which includes things like appendectomies or surgeries resulting from trauma; elective, like cosmetic surgery or bunion surgery; and time-sensitive.
”We all understand something like a cancer or tumor that the longer it waits, the more that it may grow and may metastasize,” Broussard said. “But even in the realm of orthopedic surgery so if you break your arm or break your ankle most of those surgeries can wait a few days up to about a week but if those take longer than that or get delayed the fracture can actually heal misaligned and then the surgery itself is harder later.”
If your doctor recommends surgery that can’t be delayed, LGH medical director Dr. Amanda Logue explains you can expect a typical pre-op protocol which may include a COVID-19 test.
But there’s one more step.
“After that test is done, it’s really important that we have those patients quarantine themselves until they show up for surgery,” Logue said. “They really need to stay isolated with their family members that they’ve been with the whole time so that they don’t have an exposure inadvertently between when they come to see us for pre-op and when come in for their surgery.”
You can also expect a call from the hospital 10 to 14 days after surgery so providers can check on not only your recovery but also whether you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
Dr. Logue stresses that the facilities have dedicated wings to deal with COVID-19 patients so the risk of exposure is diminished.
“I understand the hesitation, and the messages about social distancing and staying safe are really confusing, but we have a lot of ways in place that we can take care of people,” Logue said.
Both doctors remind you that doctors and medical staff are well-trained and put patient’s well-being and safety first whether you need surgery or require immediate medical care.
”We want to encourage the public, whether you’re considering putting of your surgery longer or whether you’re having what might be an emergency situation, don’t hesitate to come. We are ready to take care of you,” Logue said.
One visitor will be allowed to accompany the patient for the surgery. Patients and their companion will be asked to wear a mask.
“So we know there’s a lot of patients out there who need us and we’re going to be there for them when it’s time,” Broussard said.