In Austin, Texas all elective surgeries have been put on hold until April 22nd by an Executive Order from the Governor. Patients have been asking what the purpose is of putting elective surgeries on hold if they are typically done at private out-patient surgery centers. The reasons are several and range from protecting patients, health care workers and providing an overall good for the community.
Putting all surgeries on hold for the time being is part of social distancing with the overall goal of trying to decrease the number of COVID-19 cases at any one time. This goal of decreasing the number of patients with COVID-19 at any one time helps to ensure that patients have access to the health care facilities.
The second reason is that we want to protect precious resources such as PPE (protective personal equipment). This includes masks, gowns and gloves that health care workers use to protect themselves and to decrease the risk of transmission from patient to patient.
Putting surgeries on hold until April 22nd also helps keep resources such as ventilators available for hospitals if they would need them. We sincerely hope that the hospitals will never need equipment from surgery centers, however we want to make sure that if they needed they would be available.
Last but not least we want to make sure our patients are protected. It is extremely rare but if patients were to ever need an elevated level of care that would be available. We want to make sure that you have access to any type of medical care that you would need after your surgery.
The situation with COVID-19 has been a difficult situation for everyone, however we all want to do what is best for our patients and the community. Please consult with your Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon if you have any questions about your surgical procedure.