Throughout the Covid-related lockdowns, our hospital resources, including surgery time and outpatient procedure time (ie: cystoscopy, vasectomy, etc.), were drastically reduced in order to expand the number of ICU beds, free up surgery beds for other patients, and to allow nurses and physicians to be redeployed to inpatient wards. We have made every effort to carry on with the most urgent of surgeries, including cancer operations, laser lithotripsy (surgery for painful kidney stones), etc. Many patients who would not consider their surgeries "elective" have been patiently waiting, such as those of you living with catheters and awaiting Greenlight or TURP. Some patients have been scheduled and subsequently cancelled on more than one occasion. We know how frustrating that must be.
We have recently been granted more surgery time. We are still not at full capacity, but we are getting closer, and are able to start booking a greater variety of operations that fall somewhere in the grey zone between "urgent" and "elective".
Unfortunately, our outpatient procedure time is still greatly reduced and only the most urgent procedures - such as cystoscopy for patients at relatively high risk of bladder cancer, cystoscopy for ureteric stent removal, and BCG treatments for bladder cancer - are proceeding at the moment. There is a huge backlog of patients waiting for cystoscopy for benign conditions, as well as for vasectomy, xiaflex treatments, circumcisions, etc.
Throughout these lockdowns and reopenings our access to hospital resources has continuously changed with very little notice, necessitating last-minute rescheduling of hundreds of patients at a time. We have reduced the times during which phones are answered and we have limited our voice mail access on weekends so our staff can get this work done. If you call and do not reach us, please listen carefully to the voice mail message regarding the best times to call back or to leave a message. As always, our staff cannot respond to everyone's messages immediately, and they cannot relay messages to us urgently if we are in surgery, so urgent matters should prompt a visit to the ER.
Once again, we appreciate your patience. We are working through the backlog to identify the patients requiring more urgent surgeries, and those who have already been waiting the longest.
As of April 12, 2021, Ontario hospitals have been ordered to cancel non-urgent procedures/surgeries in order to redirect staff and resources towards critical care. Unfortunately, we are in the midst of postponing hundreds of patient appointments. Due to rapidly changing hospital commitments, many clinic visits and virtual visits are also affected.
Patients will be notified directly by our staff or by "robocall" if we need to reschedule or postpone your appointment. In order to contact and reschedule patients as quickly as possible, we will be unable to answer the phone or return voice mails promptly for the time being. Please listen carefully to our voice mail message, as there will be times when we will not be returning messages. As always, if you believe you may be experiencing a urologic emergency, you should present to the emergency department. A Urologist is always on call.
We appreciate your patience during this difficult time. We hope you stay safe.
In light of the ongoing pandemic, we primarily perform virtual visits over the phone. Virtually all new consults are conducted by telephone. If, after our discussion, we think an in-office appointment is important, you will be given an appointment for a visit, and will be required to wear a mask throughout your visit; your physician will also be masked.
We are performing all urgent and elective hospital-based procedures and surgeries with additional safety precautions as implemented by Joseph Brant Hospital.
We appreciate everyone's patience during these difficult times.
In order to maximize physical distancing for the safety of our patients, we continue to manage most patients virtually via telephone consultations, but we are gradually seeing more patients in the office. If you have an appointment, you will receive a telephone call (likely an automated message) to remind you of the date/time of your appointment and notifying you as to whether the appointment will be by telephone or in-person.
We will not be allowing drop-ins or any patient visits unless otherwise specified. Our office doors are locked, but will be opened for you if you have an in-office appointment.
Over the past months, we have only been permitted to perform the most urgent surgeries and outpatient procedures. We have recently been authorized to resume less urgent procedures. We are working through our wait lists to give appointments to everyone who is waiting for a procedure. We are triaging based on how long patients have been waiting as well as the urgency of the procedure.
If you have been waiting for a procedure, thanks you for your patience and understanding, and stay safe.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in keeping with recommendations from Public Health and the Ontario Medical Association, we have transitioned to phone calls for most appointments. If you have an appointment with Dr. Sowery or Dr. Allard, please do not come to the office. The Doctor will call you at your pre-specified appointment time.
Select patients will still require in-office visits (in particular, patients receiving injections for treatment of cancer); you will receive a phone call with specific instructions. For your protection, these visits will be spaced to avoid multiple patients sharing our waiting room.
Our office doors will be locked and only opened for specific patients who have been given an in-office appointment time. Please do not come to the office unannounced for any reason. Our staff have been instructed not to open the doors. If you need to pick up or drop off paperwork, please contact the office for instructions.
At this time, all Ontario hospitals have been instructed to allow only the most urgent procedures to proceed. If you are presently scheduled for an outpatient or inpatient procedure or surgery, it will likely need to be delayed until further notice. We will call each of you with further information.
Please refrain from calling the doctor's office for non-urgent matters, such as scheduling questions, at this time; we will be in contact with you and have a great many phone calls to make while we work through these changes. We appreciate your patience. If you receive an automated phone call from our office, please listen carefully to the instructions.
Beginning January 2018, the Urology Resource Centre has a new home at 460 Brant St., Unit 12, Burlington, Ontario. The new site, also home to Burlington Urology, is just across the street from its former location (488 Locust St.). Click Resource Centre for more details.