Elective surgeries open up with a backlog
Monday, May 4, 2020

We know a lot of people have needed elective surgeries for a long time, but what do we do about some of the backlog?

Several months ago when Heather Brown hurt her ankle, a planned trip to Disney World delayed her surgery.

“Then COVID-19 happened. My Disney trip was canceled, my appointment with Dr. Gates was canceled and here I am today,” said Brown.

This week, Dr. Nick Gates with OrthoCincy can finally perform the procedure she needs. Just in time, he says, because many patients right now are starting to fall into the gray zone.

“The gray zone is really something between urgent and elective. This case really kind of illustrates that, but if you wait too long, if we do wait too long, the tendon can become irreparable,” said Dr. Gates.

Dr. Gates and Dr. Jonathan Slaughter are just a few of the surgeons now back open for elective surgeries with restrictions that are limited by each state. So, how do you know when a surgery goes from elective to urgent? And what are they ever going to do about the backlog?

“It’s similar to how maybe an ER will triage patients where people come in, but some people may not have as urgent of a need in the ER and then they get frustrated where someone comes in and they see them first,” said Dr. Slaughter.

To get you in, expect accommodations. Dr. Gates says they’re looking at adding hours if necessary and adding OR times if necessary. They’re also looking at extra OR times, times during the day and possible weekend hours.