SARASOTA — Sarasota Memorial Hospital will resume elective surgeries and non-emergency procedures Monday, May 4, following an announcement from Gov. Ron DeSantis that he will lift surgery restrictions.
All of SMH’s operating rooms, robotic surgery suites, cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology labs, endoscopy/brochoscopy procedural suites and its Cape Outpatient Surgery Center will resume normal operations on Monday.
Since March, the hospital has safely performed nearly 3,000 surgeries, including more than 100 open-heart surgeries and TAVR procedures. SMH is now scheduling a full range of non-emergency and elective procedures that have been delayed, including joint replacement and minimally invasive spine surgery, robotic hysterectomies and laparascopic hernia repairs.
A detailed pre-operative evaluation has been developed and other protocols are in place to ensure the safety of patients, staff and medical providers. The hospital has been testing high-risk and medically indicated patients for COVID-19 up to 72 hours before non-elective surgeries, and is expanding pre-admission testing this week to safely resume elective procedures Monday.
SMH also has the capability of performing rapid on-site COVID-19 testing, so that care teams can obtain results in less than an hour in high-risk or time-sensitive situations.
“Our top priority has been and always will be the safety of our patients, employees, medical staff and others visiting or working in our facilities,” said SMH CEO David Verinder. “I am confident that we have the expertise and infection prevention precautions in place to safely resume operations for all of our patients and teams caring for them.”
Patients who had a procedure postponed or who have other questions should contact their physician for information.
In addition to resuming elective procedures, the hospital also encourages people to follow up on important diagnostic and imaging screenings for cancer, heart conditions and other chronic disease.
Visitor restrictions at Sarasota Memorial remain unchanged at this time. Patients in surgical, procedural and testing areas may each have one support person (access is limited to the first floor). SMH has been consistently screening everyone who enters its facilities, including patients and staff, for fever and respiratory symptoms. In addition, it requires everyone to don a hospital-provided mask when entering the hospital.
For the latest updates on Sarasota Memorial's response to the COVID-19 health crisis, click here.