Is Surgery Safe During COVID-19?

April 6, 2021

Clinical Contributors to this Story

Lauren Fischer, M.D. contributes to topics such as General Surgery.

While we are still battling the COVID-19 pandemic and instructed to stay at home to slow the spread, an unsettling trend is occurring. People are so fearful that they will contract COVID-19 that they neglect medical issues that may require surgery.

While undergoing surgery can cause some anxiety, patients are even more uneasy due to COVID-19.

“Patients regularly ask me, ‘Is it safe to have surgery during COVID?’ and I reassure them that hospitals, including those at Hackensack Meridian Health, have numerous safety measures to keep patients and team members safe,” says Lauren J. Fischer, M.D., FACS, chair of surgery at Bayshore Medical Center. “I understand that some patients may be hesitant to have surgery but delaying care can be even more detrimental to your health.”

Safety Measures

Keeping you safe and healthy is a top priority both in and out of the hospital. Some safety measures that take place across Hackensack Meridian Health include:

  • Having a separate “clean” entrance for patients coming in for surgery
  • Sanitizing frequently touched surfaces
  • Using the latest UV technology to disinfect rooms and surfaces to kill germs
  • Separating patients with symptoms of COVID-19 to completely different areas of the hospital
  • Frequently testing at-risk patients
  • Prioritizing vaccinations for health care providers and other members of the community

Delaying Surgery During COVID-19

“Delaying surgery can increase the potential for severe complications from surgical issues,” says Dr. Fischer. “Avoiding treatment for conditions such as diverticulitis, appendicitis or a gallbladder infection, for example, can lead to perforation, abscess formation or other potentially damaging conditions if not cared for in a timely manner.”

Bottom line – don’t delay surgery. There is greater risk to putting off a procedure than there is to getting care during COVID. To ease your concerns, you and your surgeon will discuss the steps you will need to take before coming in, and how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Next Steps & Resources:

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.