Reasons Not To Postpone Your Surgery During The Time Of Covid-19
Mrs. Malti Mehra has lost vision in her left eye. Her doctor is furious. He cannot fathom why she would defer something as serious as a blurry vision for so many months. Malti has been under his care for a few years because she and her twin, Swati, suffer from glaucoma. Malti argues that she is a senior citizen and was afraid to visit hospitals during the pandemic. It is far too late by the time she visits her doctor but he manages to save her right eye – only partially, because of how late in the day she has signed up for her surgery. Her twin, Swati, gets horrified at the prospect of going down the same road and therefore – despite her fears of hospitals and the chance of catching the virus – contacts their doctor and gets her surgery the minute she starts experiencing blurry vision. She has learned from her dear sister’s mistake.
Here are 6 reasons to stop postponing your surgery, now!
- Worsening of your condition
- In conditions like heart disease and cancer, gastric, renal, orthopedic, and neurological disorders, every minute counts. The longer these conditions are ignored, the worse the condition of the patient when you finally muster up the courage to go in for the surgery.
For example, Malti was able to save the vision in her right eye because she underwent laser surgery as soon as she began experiencing blurriness in her right eye. She was able to arrest further deterioration of her eyesight.
- For people who might have cancer and need radiation or chemotherapy; for cardiac patients who might need angioplasty or a person in extreme pain due to kidney stones, worsening of the status quo could be potentially life-threatening.
- Irreversible damage
Malti’s doctor managed to save Malti’s right eye and both of Swati’s eyes because he was given the opportunity to jump in on time in these cases. To work surgical miracles and save their vision. But what about Malti’s left eye? There’s nothing – absolutely nothing – that she can do to restore vision in her eye. It’s just too late. She simply shouldn’t have ignored it.
Procrastination almost always comes at a huge cost and when it comes to your health, irreversible damage is one of the possible price tags – particularly if you’re postponing surgeries.
- You can always opt for a specialist hospital or a smaller, clinic-based setup if you want to steer completely clear of Covid-19 patients. However, there is no excuse for giving yourself an unfixable health condition.
- Health professions across medical disciplines are working around the clock to ensure that this very situation is avoided. Moreover, most medical professionals are diligent enough to wear masks and PPE suits for their own safety and that of their patients.
- Additional stress
Once you have done your surgery, in the vast majority of cases, your troubles are usually behind you. All you are left with is a minor rest and recovery period. However, while you postpone your surgery you:
- Remain worried about what the outcome will be once you do end up undergoing surgery. Those sleepless nights probably aren’t helping things either.
- Add to the workload of your caregivers
- Pain those who hold you dear because they find it emotionally disturbing to watch you suffer
- Strain relationships because of the nature of the situation
- You and everyone around you might potentially also be worried about how much the surgery will eventually cost
- Complications and specialist requirement
When a health condition that already was serious enough to require surgery is ignored, it could potentially become complicated.
- Complications call for multiple specialists which might be time-consuming or challenging given restrictions on flights and transport.
- In some cases, an ignored health condition could spiral completely out of control. Many hospitals and surgeons might lack the experience or the equipment. This isn’t because they are underexposed or under-equipped but because most people don’t let it come to that! As a result, the patient might have to be flown to the other side of the world or a specialist would need to be flown in.
- Cost escalation
This is one of the major additional downsides of postponing a surgery:
- The cost of the surgery might be higher if a specialist – or multiple specialists – are required.
- Multiple or phased surgery might be required and this obviously escalates the cost.
- Because you are going to be ailing until you get the surgery and improve your condition, you are spending on medication and possibly also for at-home care.
- All the days of pay that you and your caregivers miss, also add up.
- Precautions are in place
Health care professionals are in the spotlight like they have never been before. They are acutely aware of this and out of either responsibility or societal pressure, you’ll witness them:
- Keeping two meters distance from you
- Wearing masks and replacing masks themselves
- Ensuring patients are always masked – at Malti’s eye doctor, they even taped Malti’s mask to her nose since she would be getting close to the equipment
- Protecting themselves in PPE suits so that the next patient – or the next day’s patients – are also safeguarded.
The government has also put in place a host of guidelines for hospitals to adhere to.
Lastly, these are times when everyone is under the glare of public scrutiny. Whether it is hospitals or other patients, most people are wary of the social stigma attached to ignoring Covid-19 safety protocols in today’s click-and-share environment. You’re safe! There are smartphone-toting millennials everywhere, ready to report a badly behaved patient or practitioner to the world.
To sum up, you’ve run out of excuses to ignore your own health. Practice due diligence to yourself and your loved ones by booking your surgery as soon as the need has been identified. Keep it simple, stress-free, and complicated by delaying no further. Swati did it and managed to escape Malti’s fate. Which twin would you rather be?