New York City hospitals are rescheduling thousands of elective surgeries that were postponed because of the coronavirus — much to the relief of patients.
“A week before the procedure, I was notified that I had to reschedule. When they canceled it, I said to myself, `Oh, no,’ ” recalled Brooklyn Heights resident Roger Best, 54, who was supposed to go under the knife for his right hip April 21 at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo had issued an emergency edict the previous month that postponed such elective surgeries in a bid to curb the coronavirus. Cuomo lifted the ban June 8 as the pandemic abated.
Best, a tech-systems engineer for HSBC bank who had his left hip replaced in December, ended up finally getting his surgery June 16 — but not before weeks of pain.
“I’m glad I got it done now. You don’t know what the future holds,” Best told The Post.
“I wanted to get it over as quickly as possible. If a second wave of the coronavirus comes, then what happens? If you need one of these procedures, get it done as quickly as possible.”
His doctor, William Macaulay, chief of the Division of Adult Reconstructive Surgery at NYU Langone Health, said NYU Langone had to cancel or postpone more than 3,000 surgeries during the peak of the pandemic, including 700 procedures involving joint replacements.
“We postponed all elective total joint replacements for approximately two months. That corresponded to approximately 700 surgeries postponed,’’ Macaulay told The Post. “We are in the process of catching up on all those postponements.’’
Macaulay said he and many other NYU Langone surgeons had been reassigned to treat COVID-19 patients during the surge.
Rose Saad, 75, of Brooklyn said she was finally able to get delayed colon-cancer surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital when the surgery restriction was lifted. Her surgery had originally been planned for March at another hospital.
“I feel good, thank God. I don’t need any chemotherapy. I’m happy we’re finished with this,” she said.
Lenox Hill is part of Northwell Health, the state’s largest health-care provider overseeing 19 regional hospitals.
Northwell facilities postponed 19,000 urgent-care and elective surgeries during the pandemic.
“We have prioritized those that are more urgent while also trying to schedule elective procedures,” Northwell spokesman Terry Lynam told The Post. “It will probably take until mid-summer before we get to all of them.’’
Meanwhile, the Mount Sinai Hospital’s Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery has resumed gender-assignment surgeries suspended during the COVID-19 surge.
The center performs about 600 transgender surgeries per year, or roughly 10 to 12 per week.
“We’ve been back to normal for a few weeks,’’ said Dr Joshua Safer, executive director of Mt. Sinai’s Transgender program, to The Post.
“This is an enormous relief to our patients.”