Nonelective surgeries during pandemic: patient’s safety comes first

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In response to the COVID crisis, Dr. Armin Tehrany has adapted his practice to fit the needs of his patients. He has also made significant changes to the process of deciding which patients should have surgery at this time and which should not. As we all adjust to the circumstances of the current pandemic, Dr. Tehrany and his team go above and beyond to ensure that all patients receive the treatment they need. For patients whose treatment cannot be postponed, Dr. Tehrany is ready to help in a safe and stable environment. Fortunately, he performs surgeries in private ambulatory surgery centers where the risk of getting the COVID-19 infection is markedly decreased compared to hospitals.  
  In the video he shared today, he presented how he and his physician associate Timothy Lopresti, PA performed surgery during this time. The patient in the video called the office due to debilitating pain in her knee. A couple of months ago, she received conservative treatment for her meniscus tear and the changes inside the knee. She received cortisone injections and went through physical therapy. Unfortunately, last week, her knee felt locked, and she was not able to move at all. Since she lost her mobility and felt she could not get out of bed from the pain and instability, PA Lopresti contacted Dr. Tehrany about the patient to consider other options. Dr. Tehrany and PA Lopresti had a Zoom telemedicine appointment with the patient, and after carefully discussing and reviewing the new risks and benefits of surgery with the patient, they all decided together to perform the surgery in order to help the patient and avoid a significantly negative outcome.
‘I am actually really proud of the fact that because we had an ambulatory surgery center, we were able to accommodate her and help her and try to get her some relief. She told me she was afraid to get out of the bed because of the pain,” Dr. Tehrany explained.
After she called the office, Dr. Tehrany took the time to talk to her and understand her pain. He also managed to get the lab work done safely.  After thorough evaluation and analysis, he recommended proceeding with the knee surgery because postponing the treatment could have only made her condition more painful.
“This is one of those cases where even in this day and age with COVID-19, we can and should continue to try to help these patients rather than just telling them that nothing can be done,” Dr. Tehrany said.
He also explained that because Manhattan Orthopedic Care performs surgeries in an ambulatory surgery center,  there is a significantly decreased risk involved with a procedure. “Thankfully, we’re not in a hospital. A hospital is where the coronavirus lives,” Dr. Tehrany admitted, while also mentioning the degree to which health care workers are placing their lives at risk every day.
“Everyone is at risk, and we are just trying to do the best we can right now,” he said.
After successfully treating the meniscus tear, Dr. Tehrany said that she was ready to go to the recovery room. During the surgery, her family was purposely waiting outside the center to maintain safety protocols.
“After the patient is feeling well, she will be ready to go home. Then she will follow up with us via Telemedicine, we will keep in touch with her,” explained Dr. Tehrany.
Dr. Tehrany took a step further to ensure that her physical therapy would take place in a safe and stable environment.
“She will start physical therapy in two days. I contacted the CEOs of all physical therapy companies to make sure that they are going to stay safe, that there is enough social distancing between and among patients, and have their assurances that they will stay open,” he said.
“I am very happy about the fact that we can continue doing this. Who knows how much longer the surgery centers are going to stay open. That is why I try to get as many of those patients in the next week or two to come in and get this done in the hopes that we can continue to take care of those patients that need us,” concludes Dr. Tehrany.
We are here to help patients in the most appropriate and safest ways possible. For any urgent matters, please feel free to schedule a Telemedicine appointment with Dr. Tehrany and his team.