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Should I cancel my elective surgery because of COVID-19?

"Unless you’re sick, stay away from hospitals. Cancel or postpone your elective surgery.” That recommendation has been all over the news recently, and it’s spreading like wildfire on social media too, where it reads something like this: “Unless you absolutely need care right now, don’t go to the doctor. Wait until the COVID-19 pandemic passes!”

On one hand, that’s sound advice, which many people have chosen to follow for good reasons. But that’s only part of the story, because it’s not the surgery that’s the issue. It’s the additional risk of having that surgery in a location where people are being treated for Coronavirus.

Atlanta Spine Specialists recommends that patients cancel their elective surgical procedures ONLY if those elective procedures are scheduled to be performed in a hospital or another medical facility where COVID-19patients have been or are being treated. In those circumstances, we agree that the risk to an otherwise healthy person before, during, and after surgery is too high. And, from what we have seen recently, it appears many infectious disease experts, hospital administrators, and other doctors agree.

Did you know that some hospitals across the country are furloughing staff, because so many people have opted to cancel elective surgeries they had scheduled? Hospital administrators are doing this because they recognize the risk; and patients are making the decision to postpone their elective surgery, because they believe they have no other options.

Atlanta Spine Specialists has a better option for patients seeking a long-term solution to their recurring or chronic back, neck, and joint pain. Here at our office, and in our certified and accredited Windward Surgical Center, we are NOT treating patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or anyone with a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or any other known symptoms of Coronavirus. We are not a primary care practice, so we are not seeing patients for symptoms of flu, cold, or any other virus at all.

This means patients who opt to undergo elective surgery at our private, state-of-the-art medical facility do not face the same elevated risk of exposure to COVID-19 as they would at a facility that has been or could be treating patients for Coronavirus.

Despite the fact that we are not treating any patients who have Coronavirus, we are still monitoring the spread of the virus locally and nationally and closely following the protocols suggested by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • We are practicing medical distancing in our waiting rooms and treatment areas

  • All exam rooms and our surgical center are sterilized after each patient

  • Our staff is regularly tested, and currently has NO known exposure to COVID-19

  • Each patient is tested for symptoms before treatment to reduce the risk to our staff and other patients

For more than three decades, Dr. Skaliy has been treating patients in pain, helping them get back to life. During this challenging time of global pandemic, continuing this mission in an environment that is safe and healthy for our patients remains our primary focus. If you are in pain, and you are curious about how our team can help you find relief, call Atlanta Spine Specialists at (770) 844-3242, click here to schedule an appointment or fill out the online form. If you cannot come to our office for any reason, call us and we will set up a phone consultation or a telemedicine appointment to help you achieve some relief. When we meet, in the office or over the phone, we will discuss your specific situation and review possible treatment options. Don’t let COVID-19 force you to live in pain! We are open, virus-free, and ready to help you. Contact us today.

In the meantime, check back here daily, as we continue to update our website with new videos and new COVID-19 information.

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