What are elective surgeries and why are they being cancelled? Southeast Health explains


DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — It’s been about a month since Southeast Health suspended elective surgeries.

While some people might consider these procedures as small or solely cosmetic-based, that’s not accurate. Although elective surgeries do encompass smaller operations, they also involve bigger procedures.

Chronic degenerative conditions, orthopedic conditions or spine conditions, and gallbladder troubles are just some operations considered elective surgeries.

“I think the word elective can be quite misleading,” said Southeast Health Neurosurgeon Jonathan McNeal. “There are some other very time sensitive cases that are considered elective. Certain cancer diagnoses where a patient has that on their mind and they have that worry, we take those cases very serious and those are more urgent.”

According to McNeal, it all depends on hospital resources.

If nurses are deployed to other areas because of COVID-19, the hospital may not be able to take care of elective surgeries right away.

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