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.