As Covid fear subsides, people opt for elective surgeries

 People who had put off elective surgeries due to the pandemic, especially during the lockdown, are trickling in to hospitals, deciding not delay them further.

Published: 04th December 2020 05:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th December 2020 05:36 AM   |  A+A-

For representational purposes

Express News Service

BENGALURU: People who had put off elective surgeries due to the pandemic, especially during the lockdown, are trickling in to hospitals, deciding not delay them further.During the lockdown the government and also doctors had urged people to delay elective surgeries if possible, due to the increasing spread of SARS-CoV-2, and the burden on the health care system. 

Things have changed now, says Dr Mahesh Chikkachannappa, senior consultant for general, laparoscopic and bariatric surgery at Aster CMI Hospital. People are coming in for surgeries for gall bladder, hernia, bariatric surgery, colon cancer, breast cancer, and for benign diseases. “We are seeing that people are slowly leaving behind the fear of contracting Covid,” Dr Mahesh said. 

 The eight-month delay has worsened the condition of some patients, Dr Mahesh said. A patient, recently came with multiple gall stones and infection, which had increased complications and made the surgery longer and tougher for doctors, Dr Mahesh said.

A patient with hernia who suffered severe pain for the past few months and managed with medication, sought treatment recently when things had gotten much worse. The hernia had gotten bigger and instead of doing a keyhole surgery, surgeons were forced to use the cut-open method, from which patients take longer to recover.

Dr Yatheesh Govindaiah, assistant director for medical services at Apollo Hospitals, has also come across cases of people seeking emergency care for hernia after they began vomiting and developed severe abdominal pain.Even people who need neurosurgery are seeking treatment, turning up to hospital by taking precautions against Covid-19, said Dr Praveen M Ganigi, neurosurgery consultant at Manipal Hospitals.

The hospital is now doing surgeries for brain tumour, spinal disc disorder, hydrocephalus (fluid accumulation in the brain), Moyamoya disease (where blood vessels supplying blood to the brain become narrow), etc, Dr Praveen said. He has also come across elderly or diabetic people who recovered from Covid and delayed treatment for sinusitis to the point where it spread to the brain. Outcomes for such patients is poor and they may not survive, compared to those who obtain surgery early.  

However, things are still a long way from normal, said Dr Govindaiah. “People are still anxious, waiting and watching... While some patients such as those with malignancy have been coming for surgery, those who require joint replacement, cataract, hernia surgeries, tend to postpone them,” he said.

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