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FAQ: Cancellation of Elective, Non-Urgent Surgeries, Procedures and Some Outpatient Services

General Information

Why is Memorial Hermann postponing elective, non-urgent surgeries, procedures and some outpatient services?

We are doing our part to prevent the spread of this virus, prepare our System and city for the potential surge of COVID-19 patients and conserve our resources for the sickest and most vulnerable of our patients. Postponing elective, non-urgent surgeries, outpatient services and procedures will:

  • Preserve personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, gowns and gloves needed to help the fight against COVID-19.
  • Preserve blood supply.
  • Preserve beds in Intensive Care Units. Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 can require up to 14 days of ICU care.
  • Protect our workforce by limiting exposure.
  • Help to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Are all surgeries, procedures and outpatient services being canceled at Memorial Hermann?

No. Only elective, non-urgent surgeries, procedures and some imaging services are being canceled. Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation clinics will temporarily suspend the acceptance of new patients for onsite elective, non-urgent therapy. Our Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation locations will continue to treat our existing patients, eVisits, and any new post-operative or emergent patients.

What do I do if my health gets worse?

Please contact your physician immediately if you are experiencing new or worsening symptoms. As always, in an emergency, dial 911 or visit your nearest emergency center.

Who should I reach out to if I have questions?

For surgeries and procedures, patients should reach out to their physician with additional questions. For outpatient imaging, patients should contact their healthcare provider or call the imaging scheduling department at 877-704-8700. For Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation patients, please call the clinic.

How can I get more information?

If you have questions about your condition, medication or other healthcare needs, please contact your Memorial Hermann primary care provider or referring physician.

Surgeries & Procedures

What are elective, non-urgent surgeries and procedures?

Elective, non-urgent cases are being defined as cases where there is no anticipated short-term nor long-term negative impact because of delaying a procedure or surgery. If you are unsure if you are impacted by this decision, please contact your physician.

Which surgeries and procedures will NOT be impacted?

Emergency surgeries and procedures, as well as any surgery or procedure for which a delay will negatively affect patient health and safety will not be delayed or impacted.

Which elective, non-urgent outpatient imaging services does this include?

Screening mammograms, 2-D and 3-D; DEXA Bone Density, HSG, Hysterosonograms Upper GI, Barium Swallow, Small Bowel, Myelograms, Thyroid FNA, CT Lung Screenings, CT Colonoscopies, CT Cardiac Scoring, Barium Enema and MRI Arthrograms.

How do I know if my procedure is considered elective, non-urgent?

Your physician will notify you if there are changes to your surgery schedule. If you are unsure, please contact your physician directly.

Does this impact elective endoscopic procedures?

Yes. Elective endoscopic procedures, commonly called scopes, will adhere to the same guidelines as other elective, non-urgent surgeries and procedures.

What do I need to know if my surgery has not been canceled?

Patients whose procedures are not impacted and who plan to be at our hospitals in the coming days and weeks should be aware of Memorial Hermann’s new visitor restrictions. Visitors are limited to one visitor per day. No visitors under 18 years old are allowed and visitors, as well as our workforce, will be screened prior to being cleared for entry to any Memorial Hermann facility.

When will I be able to reschedule my appointment?

Memorial Hermann understands the importance of all patient procedures and prioritizes patient safety at all times. Memorial Hermann, along with your physician, will make every effort to reschedule your surgery or procedure in a timely manner.

Imaging & Physical Therapy

How will I know if my procedure or outpatient service has been postponed?

Patients impacted by this decision will be contacted by their physician. For outpatient imaging services, patients will be called to reschedule. These patients can also call the imaging scheduling department at (877) 704-8700 to reschedule appointments. For Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation patients, please call the clinic.

When will elective surgeries and procedures be rescheduled?

While we anticipate all elective, non-urgent surgeries and procedures will be rescheduled, there is currently no timeframe for rescheduling to occur, but that process will be communicated as soon as possible. Memorial Hermann is continuously monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will inform providers as soon as restrictions can be safely lifted.

When will elective, non-urgent outpatient imaging services be rescheduled?

Outpatient imaging services can be rescheduled after April 13, 2020. Please contact our scheduling department at (877) 704-8700 to reschedule your appointment.