DR AMISHA MARAJ
Surgery in the time of COVID-19
Please note that Dr Amisha Maraj is a surgeon and is not involved in the primary care of COVID-19 patients. This is a guide on having an operation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This section is to assist Dr Maraj’s patients to understand how the pandemic affects their surgical journey and highlight the steps in place to maintain their safety and reduce risks of contracting COVID-19 during their surgical journey and hospital admission.
To operate or not to operate?
During the pandemic, there is a constant evaluation on whether elective surgery should be performed, and the following factors determine the decision on whether to perform a case:
- Bed availability - at the peak of a wave, elective surgery should be postponed to free up beds for COVID-19 patients.
- In South Africa, we have a guideline to assist in our surgical decision making.
- Emergencies surgeries cannot be postponed- appendix, trauma cases, etc.
- Regarding elective cases: cancer cases, septic cases, surgical conditions affecting one’s quality of life, including severe pain and debilitating symptoms, cannot be delayed or postponed.
- Many hospitals have committees that may assist in the decision making when there are bed shortages.
My visit to Dr Maraj’s consulting rooms
- Dr Maraj performs consultations in her rooms.
- On arrival, you will be screened at the screening tent on the ground floor.
- At the rooms, you will be given an appointment time and should stick to your time to avoid sitting in a queue.
- The appointment slots are carefully planned to allow for social distancing.
- There is sanitiser for your use.
- The surfaces are regularly sanitised.
- Dr Maraj will use appropriate PPEs during your consultation.
- All staff will wear masks, will sanitise and maintain social distance at all times.
- If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive or have been in contact with a COVID-19 positive person, please reschedule your appointment and, if needed, seek appropriate medical care at a casualty or medical facility that caters for COVID-19 care.
Your admission and theatre journey as a COVID-19 negative patient
- You will be required to have a COVID-19 swab done prior to your admission. Dr Maraj requests that you do your test within 48 hours of your admission and no later.
- If your result is COVID-19 positive, then your case, if elective, will be postponed, and you will be advised further. This is for both your safety and that of the theatre staff.
- All patients with negative results are admitted to a "clean" ward, meaning a ward where all the other patients are also negative (known by their COVID-19 test results). The journey continues along this pathway as you will have your operation in a "clean" theatre, meaning a theatre where all the other patients using this theatre are also negative. All staff in theatre wear masks. Theatre is an environment where even before the current pandemic, the surfaces are cleaned and sanitised regularly and in between each and every case.
Length of hospital stay
- If you had a day procedure, you will go home the same day to limit your time in hospital. Dr Maraj will examine you prior to discharge; if you are well to go home and have stable vitals and no complications and an appropriate and safe discharge plan, you may go home the same day.
- Please note, if you are not well and need to stay in hospital, you will be cared for in a "clean" ward, meaning a ward where all the other patients are also negative. Remember you are a patient, and your health comes first, if you require further care, Dr Maraj will need to keep you in hospital as per her management plan.
Follow up visits to Dr Maraj’s rooms
- You will be given a follow-up appointment. It is important to attend as you may require wound care, and results of specimens will be discussed.
- Surgical procedures at a Day Hospital are a suitable option during the pandemic provided it is a day procedure, and the patient is well and has no serious chronic illness or factors that are not suitable to a day hospital.
- This option also allows for beds to be reserved at larger centres during the peak of a wave.
- Patients may express that they feel more comfortable in a Day Hospital as there are less patients and shorter hospital stays.
- Dr Maraj does consult and does operate at Cure Day Hospital in Fourways (by appointment only).
This is merely a guide, please feel free to contact Dr Maraj’s rooms should you have any questions.
Please remember: If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive, or have been in contact with a COVID-19 positive person, please reschedule your appointment and, if needed, seek appropriate medical care at a casualty or medical facility that caters for COVID-19 care. If possible, a telephonic consultation may be arranged.