Steps to take to get ready for elective surgeries as procedures resume
Thursday, April 30, 2020

If you’ve been waiting for surgery, there may be a few things you can do to be ready as soon as things open up.

We’ve been hearing from many of you who are in pain and really do need to get that elective surgery. As outpatient surgery centers begin to open, even if there’s a backlog, there are a few things you can do as this pandemic slows down to set yourself up for success.

Ron, who asked us not to use his last name, allowed us in on one of those things – a virtual visit. He may need a procedure for shoulder pain as soon as things open up fully for elective procedures in his home state of Kentucky.

“I’m just hoping to get the right treatment. The earlier I can get the treatment, then the less medication I will need to be in,” said Ron.

Dr. Michael Greiwe, an orthopedic surgeon at OrthoCincy, can evaluate Ron ahead of time for a procedure to see what he needs through a virtual visit.

“I think patients, you know, when they have pain particularly, it’s really challenging for them to get the answers they need. Virtual technology allows for that,” said Dr. Greiwe.

The second thing to do is find out if your surgery team needs you to get a COVID-19 test ahead of time. Many require it a day or two ahead of a procedure.

You also should ask if you need updated images ahead of time. Old ones from more than eight weeks ago might hold you up when things open up.Tell your doctors about your medications. If you’ve been taking more and more prescription pain pills, it’s a warning for several things. They want you to manage it before, during and after the procedure.

"That is one of the concerns right now,” said Dr. Greiwe. “Maybe people are being put on pain medication when typically they would have had an injection, for instance. It's up to the physicians to make sure that we don't compromise in our standards. We still have to maintain the standards that we've set for ourselves."