Fairview Range Blog

Elective Surgeries During COVID-19 Q&A

Dr. Joe Skaja, General Surgeon at Fairview Range, answers your most pressing questions. 

1. Have you started doing elective surgeries again?

Yes. We’re starting with those who were booked prior to the pandemic. Patients are also being seen in the clinic again to determine if surgery is needed. At this time, we’re not scheduling people for routine screening procedures.

Which elective surgeries are you restoring? 
Our goal is to take care of those patients that are most symptomatic first. Our hope is to keep people out of the emergency rooms and avoid any further complications from delays in their procedures. 

Surgeries we are offering:

  • Total joints and orthopedic procedures
  • Gynecologic care
  • General surgery
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Urologic
  • Podiatry 
  • Ophthalmology procedures

3. With a backlog of patients, how are you prioritizing care?
The urgency is determined by the Doctor performing the procedure. There is no wait list at this time. I would recommend getting in contact with your care team to determine how we can accommodate your care.

4.Is there a waiting list people can get on?
No. It doesn’t hurt to contact your care team though. 

5. How is Fairview Range keeping patients safe during elective surgeries?

We can provide safe care for patients under the COVID pandemic.  We have instituted many processes to help protect our patients, including pre-operative COVID testing for all our patients prior to arriving at the facility. Also, we are able to keep our patients safe by masking appropriately and using gowns and gloves consistently per M Health Fairview protocols. We have door screeners who will assess anyone entering the building for symptoms, and we are limiting access to our facility from family and guests. Unfortunately, at this time we are not allowing family members to come with patients through this process. 

6. Can a guest visit the patient during recovery?

Currently, for safety reasons, we are not having guests or family in the facility. We will obviously make exceptions for patients with special needs, small children, and when there are concerns about end of life care.

7. Why is it important to restore elective surgeries?

Elective surgery means different things to different people. It is hard to tell a patient that their surgery is elective when they are the one suffering. We are working through the most time sensitive cases first to avoid any additional complications from waiting. Also, our goal with conducting many screening tests is to catch things earlier to avoid a dangerous situation. Ultimately, it is best for the overall health of our community as well as the longevity of our community hospital to continue to provide surgical services in the safest manner possible.  

If you’re interested in learning more about elective surgeries at Fairview Range, call 218-262-3441.


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