There are plenty of people out there who need bypass surgery. However, because of the mandated quarantine required to avoid the spread of COVID-19, plenty of folks were forced to make do with temporarily placed stents until the hospitals could free up space, time, and resources on major surgeries.
The first bypass surgery in the US since the declaration of this pandemic, for example, occurred only a couple of days before the writing of this article. Reported by NYDailyNews, who wrote a great article on the realities of the situation. Read more about it below…
Major Surgeries Back in Action
The story by NYDailyNews is of one Thomas Marshall. A man with extremely clogged arteries — a condition often marked by the onset of atherosclerosis (the build-up of plaque in the arteries that hardens and narrows off blood passageways.)
If left untreated, such a condition would not only cause extreme pain (which, in more moderate cases, would occur after exercise) but also can result in a heart attack, stroke, loss of limbs due to gangrene, or, even death.
Sure enough, even after one of New York’s surgical teams had put a stent in Mr. Marshall’s blocked off arteries to stay the progression of the condition, the patient experienced incredible pain within weeks.
The lack of proper circulation cut off his body’s supply of oxygen and caused his angina to act up and his breathing to become short — even while performing the most mundane of activities (like taking a shower or unloading the dishwasher.)
The stent that they had placed as a stopgap had done its job for a little while — that is, buy Mr. Marshall some time until COVID-19 passed over so that they could operate properly, and with no risk to either the patient or the hospital staff themselves of being infected. However, Mr. Marshall’s condition had progressed far too quickly.
Fortunately, Mr. Marshall was able to get his bypass surgery at the end of May. And in the end, had even reported to ‘feeling a lot better.’ He also reported that the hospital, Mount Sinai’s Morningside, had done everything they could to make him feel comfortable, as well as safe from being afflicted with the novel coronavirus (which he tested negative for multiple times throughout his surgery, and after the fact.)
The Importance of Bypass Surgery
Mr. Marshall’s story just goes to show the importance of operations like bypass surgery when it comes to providing others the opportunity to live their life fully.
Now, more than ever, when the risk of heart failure, or any other major complications, after a Bypass Surgery has dropped an all-time low, there is even less of a reason not to have the surgery. Especially for those whose conditions have progressed far enough that they’re dealing with debilitating angina (chest pain), or similarly poor heart movements that preclude a potential heart attack.
If you want to know more about who might need bypass surgery take a look at our article on the STICH trials, to learn more. That should also tell you about all the available alternatives to CABG and all the factors a doctor will consider when deciding whether bypass surgery or stenting would be better for a patient.
COVID-19 Updates on Other Surgical Procedures
On the other hand, if you want to learn more about COVID-19 and Surgery, there are countless of other resources available out there for you that you can use to stay up to date on the latest news.
At the moment, the current climate around hospitals and, as such, surgeries, is still pretty questionable. However, things are changing a little every day. Especially now, that the government is slowly opening up doors once more.
If you’re particularly interested in the subject matter, you can check the COVID-19 and Surgery resources put up by the American College of Surgeons (ACS.) There, they have a bulletin that is regularly updated that reports on the impact of the novel coronavirus — specifically, regarding the surgical community at large.
Conclusion: Bypass Surgery during COVID-19
It shouldn’t be long before surgical procedures, even ones as major as the open-heart surgery most bypass operations require, are back in session.
However, until that point, there are plenty of resources you can find online, or by contacting your general hospital through the telephone, to ensure that you are living as comfortably as possible with your condition.
It might also be a good idea to practice caution for the next following weeks. At least, until the hospitals can be cleared of any contagion for the novel coronavirus. That is not to say that you should be panicked — just try to stay alert!