Delaying Elective Surgeries Because of Covid-19 Pandemic Can Lead to Serious Complications: Doctor

Those who are suffering from severe non-Covid problems as hernia, piles, gallbladder stones, appendicitis, should undergo surgeries as recommended by the doctor. Delay in treatment due to the ongoing pandemic can lead to extreme complications.

Protecting ourselves from Covid-19 and reducing the spread of the disease is the priority for everyone now. But it is also essential to tackle other serious ailments such as obesity, gastritis, gallstones, kidney problems, hernias, acid reflux and piles. But many patients with these problems had no option but to wait in pain due to the rising number of non-Covid cases. Keeping in mind the backlog of elective surgeries, and serious complications that could result from delaying the treatment, hospitals have started doing outpatient consultations, elective and non-emergency surgeries (Bariatric, laparoscopic and endoscopic surgeries) amid the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.

Patients delaying treatment for fear of contracting Covid-19

There are many patients who are suffering from severe non-Covid problems and face extreme complications due to delay in treatment because of the ongoing pandemic.

For example, a 52-year-old patient from Delhi with diabetes, hypertension and gall bladder stones developed complications (jaundice with empyema GB) as he delayed treatment owing to the fear of contracting Covid-19. His condition worsened and he was put on the ventilator. Which resulted in the addition of an extra surgery at Apollo Spectra Hospital, Delhi, where he was treated. Another 34-year-old diabetic lady weighing 130.8 kgs with obstructive sleep apnoea, severe backache and hypertension needing immediate bariatric surgery was operated on at the same hospital.

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Another 49-year-old lady who had gallstones but delayed surgery during lockdown developed severe infection of Gall bladder i.e. Empyema Gallbladder and she was operated in emergency because of rupture of gallbladder.

"My world turned upside-down after I had fever, bad acidity and severe pain in my abdomen because of gallbladder stones, I needed to undergo surgery but couldn't due to the pandemic. To top it all, when I underwent emergency surgery, my gallbladder ruptured with a lot of pus. I urge everyone not to delay treatment even during these unprecedented times," asserted the patient, named Nirmal Kaur.

Do not delay elective surgeries at any cost

Dr Sukhvinder Singh Saggu, Bariatric and Laparoscopic Surgeon, Apollo Spectra, Karol Bagh, "Routine OPDs and non-emergency surgeries were suspended in the month of March 2021. The hospital gets around 100s of calls from the patients inquiring about elective procedures. Now, with the weakening of the second wave, all in-patient wards are full. All the elective surgeries have resumed in the hospital after 2 months, and this is the right time to seek treatment. During the pandemic, there is a challenge to do any type of surgeries."

"Those having various health issues such as hernia, piles, gallbladder stones, acidity reflux, appendicitis, kidney, joint, and knee problems should undergo surgeries as recommended by the doctor. Having obesity puts people at risk for many other serious chronic diseases and increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Bariatric patients are more prone to have respiratory and Covid infections and serious complications. ICU admissions are more in obese patients and even mortality rates are higher. So, tackling obesity is a prerequisite to prevent covid infection and other severe complications," he said.

"Non-Covid patients need not fear as guidelines given by the government are followed while doing elective surgeries. Laparoscopy, endoscopy, bariatric, and knee replacement surgeries are in demand now. Do not delay elective surgeries at any cost as doing so is not safe, and seek timely treatment to improve your quality of life. Even recovered patients can come for follow-ups and check-ups," Singh added.

Delhi relaxes curbs further as Covid-19 positivity rate dips

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has issued fresh guidelines for Delhi unlock 5.0 relaxing the curbs further as the city's Covid-19 positivity rate dips to 0.12 per cent. The City on Sunday reported 89 new Covid-19 cases, staying below 100 cases for the straight second day, and four more deaths.

Starting from Monday, gyms and yoga institutes are allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity in the national capital. Marriage halls, banquet halls and hotels have also been allowed to hold weddings with 50 people in attendance. Ceremonies are allowed with a maximum of 50 guests.

Restaurants and bars can open with 50 per cent seating capacity. However, the prohibited and restricted activities will continue till 5am on July 5.

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