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Central Indiana hospitals prepare for possible resumption of elective surgeries

Elective surgeries might include joint replacements, colonoscopies or tonsillectomies.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana's largest hospital system is preparing to start doing elective surgeries again – as early as next week.

“We’re actually having those conversations right now,” said Dr. Paul Calkins with IU Health. “We’re hoping to get to everybody as quickly as we can.”

It’s great news for those who have been waiting for a procedure that may be important, but isn’t necessarily life or death. Elective surgeries might include joint replacements, colonoscopies or tonsillectomies.

“We're going to have to start slowly, because we still have a significant COVID burden,” Calkins said. “And remember, a lot of (staff) are at home with COVID right now, we have a limited capacity, and it's going to take us a while to ramp back up to serve all these folks that are waiting for us."

Credit: WTHR

Non-urgent and non-emergency surgeries have also been suspended at Franciscan Health and Community Health systems.

“Due to the current surge that has filled our hospitals, we are postponing non-emergent surgeries that would require an inpatient bed until early February. Our team is regularly assessing the situation and the timing may change based on bed capacity,” said a Community Health spokesperson in a written statement.

“Franciscan Health Central Indiana has suspended scheduled inpatient surgical care that can be safely delayed. We continue to provide needed surgical care to cancer patients and those for whom delaying surgery would likely result in loss of life, limb or vital organ function,” said Dr. Christopher Doehring, vice president of medical affairs for Franciscan Health Central Indiana. “Resumption will be dictated by the ongoing burden wrought by the COVID pandemic and our ability to care for all patients.”

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