Valley-based plastic surgeon describes new elective surgery process

May 19, 2020, 4:45 AM | Updated: 7:53 am
(Alfred-Wegener-Institut via AP)...
(Alfred-Wegener-Institut via AP)
(Alfred-Wegener-Institut via AP)

PHOENIX —  A Valley plastic surgeon said Monday that additional safety measures have been put in place to combat the coronavirus after elective surgeries were allowed to resume at the start of the month.

The first new measure is an active coronavirus test, Dr. Pablo Prichard told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Prichard, whose practice is based out of Scottsdale, said any patient with plans to undergo surgery must have negative test results before their procedure.

In the meantime, patients are also required to be quarantined until the surgery date.

When the patient arrives on the day of surgery, additional screenings are implemented for both the patient and any additional family member, spouse or care taker that is present at the surgery center.

“Patients have been extremely eager and excited to get their surgeries done, especially the patients that had their surgeries canceled over the last couple of months,” Prichard said. “We’ve had a huge influx of calls from patients wanting their rescheduled times.”

The removal of a waiting room is another coronavirus-related change with elective surgeries.

Instead, practices ask anyone waiting for someone in surgery to leave the surgery center and return when the patient is ready to go home.

The goal is to limit the amount of people in one area reducing any possible exposures in a confined area.

Changes have also occurred inside the operating room in hopes of adding extra levels of protection.

Prichard’s surgery center staff is dressed in full personal protective equipment during all surgeries. But now all procedures also include an intubation box.

“It protects both the patient and all the staff from any cross contamination during a surgery, kind of shielding everybody,” Prichard said.

Prichard believes more people are opting in for elective surgeries with the abundant recovery time as more people are working from home.

Although there has been no mention of elective surgeries being cancelled for a second time, he has also heard patients express concerns in the event of a second wave of coronavirus hitting Arizona.

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Valley-based plastic surgeon describes new elective surgery process