06 July 2020

El amor en los tiempos del corona: Surgery in a Pandemic

I've had a couple of medical procedures done lately, where social distancing cannot be implemented. I previously talked about getting my teeth cleaned. This time, I will write about getting some surgery done, in the middle of a pandemic.

See, this isn't my first surgery. In 2015, I had to get my gallbladder out. That was fun, well, sort of, but definitely it made me appreciate the fact that I have good healthcare here in Germany. So I decided to capitalise on that. I had another procedure I wanted done, so I needed to look for a place that does it. I wanted to treat the varicose veins on my right leg.

In fact, since 2016 I already started looking around for a clinic to go forward with this procedure: I blogged back then about an incident where I was in a clinic specialising in phlebology. I got a referral from my house doctor, so I went there. But that clinic didn't give me a good feeling, and so I didn't opt to go forward with it there. In the meantime, life happened. I changed careers, I looked for another job, and so things got postponed, until now.

In summer last year, I initiated contact with a different clinic, and asked for a consultation. They were surprisingly nice, and definitely better than the previous place. So I decided to go forward with endovenous laser treatment. Using lasers, the varicose veins I have would be heated so that it would eventually close, and that the blood doesn't flow there anymore. I asked to be put in the waiting list.

The good thing is that due to some changes in legislation, the procedure I needed would be covered by my insurance from 2020 onward. And since this isn't an urgent thing, I didn't mind waiting. I had this issue for two decades now, so waiting for another 6 months to get it done and get it covered with insurance wasn't a big deal. We scheduled it for June.

And then corona happened.

A few weeks before my scheduled operation, I called them to ask if it is still on schedule, and if there were any changes or anything I need to know because of the corona issue. They told me that aside from the mask requirement, everything should go as usual. So that's what happened. I was told to come to the clinic early in the morning, and less than two hours later, I was already released and sent home. The day after, they changed my bandages. And one week later, they did an ultrasound exam, showing that everything looked good, as expected. I have another appointment in six months to see long-term progress, but from the looks of it, it seems that everything looks alright.

Hopefully this wouldn't be a thing, but it seems I get a surgery once every five years. I'll try not to get one in 2025. But if I do need one, I am definitely grateful at the fact that I live in a country with great healthcare. This is definitely something that is much appreciated.

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