Samaritan cancels some elective surgeries in effort to preserve supplies, maintain bed capacity


WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) – Following the recommendations from the NYS Department of Health, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and American College of Surgeons, Samaritan Medical Center is canceling some elective surgeries.

The decision was made in an effort to help preserve supplies, protect patients and staff from exposure and to maintain hospital bed capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hospital worked with all its surgeons and determined that all non-essential, non-life-threatening surgeries and procedures will be rescheduled for a later date and time.

Decisions to cancel were made based on the following:

  • All Tier 1 procedures will be canceled. Examples include annual colonoscopy screenings, carpal tunnel surgery and dental.
  • Tier 2 elective surgeries and procedures, such as non-urgent knee or hip replacements, will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and decided upon at the surgeons’ discretion.
  • All Tier 3 elective surgeries and procedures will continue as planned. They include cases involving cancer, trauma and other highly symptomatic patients.

Due to strict visitor restrictions, if a patient does have a surgical procedure that requires an inpatient hospital stay, in many cases the patient will not be able to have any visitors while they recover in the hospital.

The surgical services team will assist areas in need, such as the Samaritan COVID-19 Resource Line, 315-755-3100, and Samaritan’s Community Coronavirus Testing Site.

The hospital is directing patients with upcoming surgeries or outpatient procedures who have questions to call their surgeon’s office directly for further information.


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