What is considered an essential surgery?


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Hospitals in KELOLAND have decided to postpone any nonessential surgeries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Allison Suttle with Sanford Health is breaking down some of the differences between essential and non-essential surgeries.

Suttle: So it’s, I think it’s quite interesting as a physician whose performed surgeries it’s very easy for us to talk about elective surgeries, essential surgeries, urgent surgeries, emergencies. And it’s very clear for us, but as a person coming in, a patient coming in for surgery, you need whatever surgery is coming forward, right?

Suttle: Obviously you’ve had a conversation with your physician, and the two of you have decided that this is the next best step for you. So this COVID-19 pandemic has raised some awareness to what is, what are the different types of surgeries? And I think the bottom line is urgent surgeries, emergencies need to happen in the moment, immediately, it’s life or death situation. Anything beyond that really becomes a conversation between a physician and a patient.

Suttle: And I think no matter what happens during the pandemic, we are still having to perform surgeries. We are still there for our patients and we’ve taken the approach at Sanford that it really requires that conversation with a physician what needs to be done and what doesn’t.

Heinemann: The main takeaway should be you know, talk with your provider and they can guide you through this?

Suttle: Absolutely. And I think when you start thinking about what’s truly elective, it would be kind of cosmetic surgeries, or screening tests like a screening colonoscopy that you could wait three months and do three months down the road because if you’ve never had a risk, you’re not at high risk, waiting three months isn’t going to have any differences on the impact of your life.

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