As anyone who has not lived under a rock lately knows, life as we knew it has changed. One of these changes involves the cancellation of all non-urgent surgery; almost world-wide, and definitely all across Canada and yes, also in Alberta.
No-one yet knows how long these closures will last, but even when elective surgeries open up again, (and my sources tell me this is not going to be anytime soon), there will be delays, disruptions and probably very, very long wait times. If we thought wait times were bad before all this started, well watch out. This is not ideal, but a reality. That is the bad news. The good news is that not all treatments have been cancelled. Yes most Alberta Health Services clinics have been reduced to essential services, but that doesn't necessarily mean all private practices and facilities are closed, at least not yet. Now that scheduling surgery is simply not an option and since we don't have any idea when surgery will be available, maybe now is a good time to really consider a more conservative treatment. Who knows - maybe you'll never want surgery afterwards! In that case at least some personal good might have come from this situation.
Yes, here at Dr. Murphy's office and PelvicFloor.com, we are open and seeing selected patients, though at significantly reduced numbers and in line with recommendations from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, and the Canadian Medical Association. We are also still offering and doing our laser procedures for some indications and of course taking care of postoperative patients and patients who require ongoing pessary care. Unfortunately some elective procedural tests for instance Urodynamic Assessments, are currently not being done. If there is any upside, it is that there is now minimum wait for scheduling vaginal laser procedures for the usual indications that can be found on this website. We can literally get going with treatment right away.
There is currently the risk of postponing perceived non-urgent medical assessments too long. Some conditions, while not life-threatening, if postponed too long could lead to significantly worse health outcomes, either physical, psychological (mental health), or both. Prolapse definitely falls in this category and some types of urinary incontinence as well. Even during this COVID virus event, do not neglect your other health needs. If you are worried, or frustrated at home and want to get a jump on treatment for stress urinary incontinence, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse because of age or menopause related changes, mild to moderate prolapse or vaginal relaxation syndrome, consider giving us a call. For more serious symptoms for instance bleeding, or severe prolapse, you should NOT delay. Also read the information on this website regarding some of the treatments we offer, including PRP.
We are taking every precaution we can to make sure you are safe from the virus, including:
1) Spreading patients out so there is almost never more than one or at most two patients at the office at any given time and by minimizing your time in the waiting area.
2) Reduced staff.
3) We clean everything thoroughly before, and between each patient.
4) Everyone entering the clinic will be asked to wash their hands immediately after entering our clinic. Our washroom is kept immaculately clean and wiped between every visit.
5) We do ask everyone to please reschedule who:
Have any symptoms suggesting a new cough, symptoms of cold, flu or worse
Have traveled outside of Canada within two weeks prior to the appointment
Had contact with anyone positive or likely positive for Covid 19 within two weeks
All you need to do is call us and we will reschedule. Also, please do not bring any friends, family, children or partners to accompany you, unless absolutely necessary - for instance if you require physical assistance, or a translator. We ask that accompanying persons wait in the car or downstairs. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter, as we all work towards keeping each other and the community, safe.
There is also the option to schedule a telephone consultation with Dr. Murphy. Because of the nature of such consultations, the information that can be obtained is limited and the recommendations possible are similarly restricted. However in many cases we would be able to discuss possible treatment options and the likely interventions or tests that might be required. If you would prefer to have a telephone conversation rather than come to the clinic, that is absolutely fine, and preferred in many cases given our current circumstances. Please arrange this with the front staff by phoning the office. If nobody picks up, please leave a message and someone will get back to you.