Cataract surgeries reinstated, fewer surgical delays expected this week

Cataract surgeries have been reinstated and fewer non-urgent surgeries are expected to be postponed this week at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Last week, Health PEI postponed all cataract surgeries and rescheduled some non-urgent surgeries and procedures to maintain bed capacity and staffing in the ICU and emergency departments. This week, Health PEI anticipates needing to make fewer postponements.

“We are seeing some reduction in pressure on our ICU and emergency department, which has allowed our surgical teams to reinstate some surgical capacity,” said Dr. Michael Gardam, Health PEI CEO. “Our priority has always been to ensure we can care for COVID patients while having the least possible impact on the rest of the health care system. I am very pleased we are able to reinstate cataract surgeries and hopefully reduce the number of other surgical postponements so soon.”

While the number of delayed surgeries is expected to be fewer than last week, exact numbers are not yet known as additional surgeries may be postponed to maintain health system capacity. This would happen if there were an increase in COVID cases or acutely ill patients requiring hospital admission. A small portion of scheduled procedures like colonoscopies and cystosopies have also been postponed. 

“We will be monitoring these cases daily, and decisions about postponements will be made closer to the surgery date, rather than a week in advance,” said Dr. Gardam. “The schedule may also change based on the needs of individual patients, as determined by their surgeon. But we intend to perform as many of the scheduled surgeries as can be done safely.”

As always, any patients whose procedures or surgeries are rescheduled will be contacted directly in advance of their appointment time. 

Media contact:
Everton McLean
Communications, Health PEI

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