During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, elective surgery often has been misunderstood to mean an operation that may not really be needed. To help inform the public, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) recently released comments on this issue, particularly as it has been discussed and written about during the pandemic.
The ACS noted that most surgery—even elective surgery—is essential, but that certain cases should be prioritized. “Maintaining access to surgery is an essential part of quality patient care, whether the surgery is needed to cure a medical condition, address infirmity, extend life, or contribute to patient well-being.
”Note: In March 2020, the ACS provided guidance for prioritization of operations during COVID-19, noting hospitals should create a Surgical Review Committee, composed of surgery, anesthesiology, and nursing personnel for COVID-19-Related Surgical Triage Decision Making. View the guidance document.