COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Wellstar is planning to resume certain elective surgeries as early as next week.
Chief Surgical Officer Dr. Bill Mayfield said these are limited to time-sensitive surgeries like an undiagnosed mass or symptomatic gallstones. Yet, he added that these surgeries will be limited to those who are not at high risk for COVID-19.
“The population we are going to operate on in the next few weeks is the healthier population," Dr. Mayfield added. "We don’t want them to be compromised should they get COVID-19 in the community."
He said they will be testing these patients for the virus before operating and the operations will be done at ambulatory surgery centers that are separate from the hospital.
For those without separate surgery centers, there will be a separate entrance for non-COVID-19 patients.
“We are using all the CDC guidelines, American Hospital Association guidelines, American College of Surgeons guidelines for PPE, personal protection, social distancing, hand washing, wiping down surfaces between patients," he said.
If there is a second wave of COVID-19 cases, Mayfield said Wellstar is prepared to change course.
“If there is another wave and we have a spike in resources, and we need to redirect, we are prepared to respond very quickly," he said.
Dr. Mayfield said these time-sensitive procedures starting again next week do not include cosmetic surgery.