Published on August 28, 2020

It Is Safe to Have a Surgical Procedure While COVID-19 Is Still in the Community

David Tichansky, MD, Chair, Department of Surgery, Reading Hospital – Tower Health

As Tower Health adapts to the ever-changing healthcare environment brought on by COVID-19, one thing has remained the same – the safety of our patients is our top priority. While some patients are choosing to postpone or forego necessary surgical procedures, Tower Health wants to remind the public that doing so may be more detrimental to your health.

We are learning more about the virus with each passing day. Tower Health has taken additional steps to protect our patients and staff from potential exposure in our hospitals and in our operating rooms. These additional safety measures have become a standard at Reading Hospital. These protocols and new procedures mean that the risk of exposure in our hospitals may be less than in other community settings.

In addition to mandatory mask use by staff and patients, we continue to perform temperature checks at each entrance to our hospitals. You can feel safe knowing that our hospital environments are thoroughly sterilized by ultraviolet disinfection robots that are being used in COVID-19 patient rooms, Emergency Departments, the intensive care units, progressive care units, and transitional care units at our facilities. The robot delivers a fast and effective germicidal dose of continuous wave UV energy, killing germs and pathogens including the coronavirus, from floor to ceiling.

We want to stress the importance of keeping your surgical procedures scheduled or working with your care teams to reschedule your procedures if they were delayed due to COVID. Many diseases or physical ailments that require surgery will continue to worsen if not addressed. Postponing surgery can, in turn, make the procedure more complex or risky when it finally takes place.

Most of your preoperative and postoperative engagement with your surgeon can be held remotely with telehealth and virtual visits, minimizing your need for an in-person traditional office visit. This is particularly relevant to vulnerable populations such as the elderly and immunocompromised who are at risk for more severe symptoms of COVID-19.

With these precautions in place, you can feel confident about moving forward with any delayed surgical procedures. At Tower Health the health and safety of our patients and team members are of utmost important to us. Visit towerhealth.org/covid-19/yoursafety/ to learn more.