When should Covid recovered patients get surgeries? ICMR specifies time frame

Patients who are diabetic, immunocomprised or hospitalised Covid-19 patients are advised a longer waiting period
Last Updated 31 May 2021, 10:57 IST

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the national task force for Covid-19 have advised symptomatic Covid-19 patients at least a six weeks gap after recovery for non-urgent surgeries for faster healing and recovery after surgery.

Diabetic, immunocompromised, or hospitalised Covid-19 patients are advised to wait for eight to 10 weeks and patients hospitalised in ICU during Covid need to wait for 12 weeks.

This advisory comes after surgeons were reportedly asked for a repeat RT-PCR or antigen test as part of pre-operative protocols to recovered Covid-19 patients opting for non-urgent or elective surgeries.

According to ICMR and the national task force for Covid-19, a repeat RT-PCR or antigen test within 102 days of being diagnosed with Covid-19 can give you a false-positive result due to the presence of “non-viable dead-virus particles” which stays in the body for some time.

“A minimum period of six weeks prior to non-urgent surgery is recommended for Covid-recovered patients who were symptomatic. As for emergency surgeries in recovering or recovered patients, these must be done immediately with due precautions,” Sanjay Pujari, a member of the task force, told The Times of India.

However, if a recovered patient continues to experience Covid-19 symptoms, Pujari advised consulting an infectious diseases expert for re-testing and treatment.

While patients with cough, shortness of breath and serious symptoms are advised to wait for six weeks for non-urgent surgeries, a four-week time period is advised for asymptomatic patients.

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(Published 31 May 2021, 10:12 IST)

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