Elective Surgery in the Days of COVID-19
With so many executive orders coming out of the Governor’s office in Texas this spring and summer, it can be hard to keep up with what we can and can’t, should and shouldn’t do during the year of COVID-19. Governor Greg Abbott has issued several executive orders surrounding the closing and opening, then the reclosing and reopening of Texas, as we attempt to live and function in the days of the world health pandemic of 2020.
His recent executive order, Executive Order GA-27, was issued in response to the need for increased hospital capacity to help in managing COVID-19. The order went into effect on June 26 and applied to hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Travis counties. The order mandated that, until further notice, hospitals must postpone all surgeries/procedures which are not medically necessary to diagnose or correct a serious medical condition or to preserve the life of a patient. NOTE: At the time of publishing this blog, the order has been amended to include more than 100 counties across much of the state. Most recent list here.
The order has understandably caused some confusion around the issue of elective surgeries and we’d like to address it. Because the goal of the executive order is to preserve hospital bed capacity (and not because any procedures have been deemed unsafe), it does not apply to outpatient procedures performed in clinics, surgery centers, etc.
At Carter Eye Center, we perform our modern cataract surgery procedures at a certified Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC), not in a hospital. North Dallas Surgicare is a facility that adheres to the highest standards in every category, including cleanliness and safety. Two things we know are on everyone’s minds these days.
ASCs vs. Hospitals
The truth is, if you have scheduled a medical procedure like cataract surgery at this time, an ASC is certainly the safest place for you to receive the care you deserve. We’d even go so far as to say you’re safer at an ASC than in a hospital. Why? Because ASCs do not treat sick patients.
Additionally, ASCs are held to extremely high safety standards. They are highly regulated healthcare facilities under normal circumstances and must comply with a host of statutes and regulations at the federal and state level. Thanks to the pandemic, ASCs are being held to even more stringent requirements for safety and infection prevention.
Yes, it’s Safe to Have Cataract Surgery in 2020
Advances in technology have made an already safe and successful procedure safer than ever. Of course, no surgery is without risks, but cataract surgery has an impressive track record. In fact, more than two million men and women undergo cataract surgery every year, making the procedure one of the most common and most successful medical procedures in the U.S. today.
At Carter Eye Center, we are pleased to offer laser cataract surgery. This advanced approach improves the precision of many key surgical steps and customizes the procedure to provide the opportunity for more desirable visual outcomes and potentially make cataract surgery simpler, with fewer complications and faster recovery.
Need one more reason to consider cataract surgery now? Time. If you’re like many Americans, you may find that you have a little more time on your hands than you normally do. With no games, school functions and concerts to attend, no flights to catch and vacations to take, it just may be the ideal time to invest in yourself and take hold of the restored vision you deserve.
The Carter Cares Advantage
Please know that at Carter Eye Center, your health and wellbeing is vitally important to us. Especially at this time, we are taking every precaution necessary and watching national, state and local orders closely.
If we may serve you at this time, we’d be honored. Schedule your cataract evaluation today.