The safe surgical practice has always revolved around preoperative evaluation and risk assessment, and due to the COVID19 pandemic, these efforts have become even more critical to patient safety. According to some studies, patients with Coronavirus disease who undergo surgery have worse clinical outcomes, higher complication rates and mortality.
Experts say that surgery should be postponed for at least six weeks in patients who test positive for COVID19. When surgery is performed before six weeks following diagnosis of COVID19, the patient might suffer increased complications .
Furthermore, hospitals are delaying these services to safeguard healthy people and professionals from the Coronavirus. Most importantly, doctors from all fields are getting involved in Coronavirus missions. Due to social distancing, medical visits have to be rescheduled or moved to telemedicine.
So the safe way to undergo surgery is after recovering from Coronavirus. But the question is, when is the right time for surgery following recovery?
How long should one wait for the surgery?
As part of a preoperative protocol, surgeons are requesting the patients recovered from COVID19 to undergo repeat RT-PCR/antigen tests if they want to undergo non-urgent or elective surgery.
Although experts from the ICMR and the “national task force for Covid-19” advised not to repeat Covid tests within 102 days. This is because the dead virus particles will remain in the body for some time. As a result, the test performed within may not be accurate.
If the patients recovered from COVID and didn’t have any signs or symptoms, then they can undergo surgery about four weeks after their recovery. If patients are admitted to the hospital after experiencing severe symptoms of COVID-19, they are advised to undergo surgery after six weeks.
In addition, if you have been admitted to the hospital for severe COVID symptoms and have other health problems like diabetes, then you should plan your surgery at least ten weeks after recovery.
The factors that determine whether to have surgery now or later will be discussed with the surgeon. Some surgical procedures can wait, as they are not considered emergencies. For instance, it might be cataract surgery, hernia surgery, knee or hip replacements, or some reconstructive procedures.
When you go to the hospital or surgery centre after recovery, your doctor will also evaluate the risk to you personally. The surgical team will thoroughly assess your condition to see if it will worsen without surgery and if there are alternative treatments available. They might also take into consideration how widespread COVID-19 is in your community.
- A patient admitted to ICU due to COVID19 should wait around twelve weeks.
- Covid retesting is not necessary within 102 days·
- People who have recovered from Covid do not need to do the RT-PCR test again to determine if they’ve been reinfected.
- A swab test can still be positive even after the infection has been cleared from the system if non-viable remnants of the virus are detected.
- A non-viable virus remnant is a dead piece of the virus that cannot infect or transmit the illness.
- If test results are positive after 102 days from the first episode of COVID, the case can be considered a new one, as long as a molecular test was negative.
According to experts, the preoperative risk analysis of a COVID-recovered patient needs to be tailored, considering factors like surgical complexity, medical conditions, and the risks & benefits of delaying the surgery. Depending on the patient’s general health, surgery may have different effects on patients recovering from COVID. Symptoms like breathing problems, chest pain, and fatigue are commonly seen in some patients up to sixty days after recovery.
If you are suffering from hernia problems or piles and recovering from a COVID attack, consult Dr Venugopal Pareek. He is one of the leading laparoscopic surgeons for hernia repair in Hyderabad. Call +91 91777 77715 to book an appointment with the doctor.