University HealthCare Alliance

June 04, 2020

Patients Head Back to Stanford Medicine for Procedures, Routine Visits

With Stanford physicians once again performing nonemergency procedures, patient Anwar Soliman underwent surgery to relieve his back pain and acid reflux.

After years of suffering from a hernia that caused acid reflux and back pain, Anwar Soliman was looking forward to his April 1 surgery at Stanford Health Care — only to have the procedure put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I was a little set back, but I got my emotions in order,” said the 61-year-old retired U.S. Army sergeant. “I exercised my faith over fear.”

He didn’t have to wait too much longer: On May 6, he underwent a procedure to repair a hiatal hernia, a condition in which part of the stomach bulges through the diaphragm. He’s now recovering at his San Jose, California, home, with most of the symptoms a memory.

Soliman was one of the first patients to undergo surgery after Stanford Medicine restarted non-emergency procedures, including outpatient visits, screenings and diagnostic tests on May 4. Now, physicians and other providers at about 90% of Stanford Medicine’s 600-plus clinics are back to caring for patients.

Stanford Health Care — including Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare, the Stanford Medicine Outpatient CenterStanford Cancer Center South BayByers Eye Institute, and Stanford Health Care, Emeryville — had paused most procedures and in-person visits starting on March 13, in part to preserve resources for an anticipated surge of COVID-19 patients.

Clinicians at Stanford Medicine’s hospitals and outpatient centers continued to treat patients with emergencies such as heart attacks, strokes and trauma during the pause, and treated cancer patients and others who could not safely wait. For patients who didn’t need hands-on services, clinicians provided care via video and phone, and they continue to do so.

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