COVID 19 & COSMETIC OCULOPLASTICS
UPDATE April 2021: Open, but differently.
The hospitals themselves where I practise have worked hard to make their care pathways as ‘COVID secure’ as possible. Many of you will therefore notice that there will be a few extra precautionary measures introduced to keep you and your family safe.
Unfortunately though due to the impact of COVID 19, the number of clinics and operations we can offer remains very much constrained. How much activity we can offer remains largely dependent on how much necessary extra reserve capacity the UK government deems it needs from the UK private hospitals for the NHS to function safely. This in turn is dependent on how the COVID 19 pandemic proceeds e.g. should there be a significant surge. Unfortunately though, like many cosmetic surgeons, many of my private hospital clinics and operating lists remain suspended due to circumstances beyond my control. The hospitals and facilities where I practise at present remain largely contracted to prioritise their outpatient and surgery capacity for use by the NHS first as requested by NHS England and the UK Government. Quite rightly, these organisations have offered their clinic and theatre capacity to the NHS first as part of a national NHS Resilience Programme to help tackle the backlog of more clinically urgent patients e.g. heart surgery, cancer surgery, orthopaedic operations, etc.
COSMETIC OCULOPLASTIC CLINICS April 2021
Probably about 70% of Mr Cheung’s patients live outside the West Midlands area. Indeed about 20% live abroad.
Mr Cheung often sees patients with quite complex eyelid problems e.g. patients requesting revisional eyelid surgery, patients wanting bespoke cosmetic eyelid surgery. Thus many patients come quite a distance to see him, rather than a general ophthalmologist or general plastic surgeon.
Mr Cheung normally runs regular clinics for consultation on:
Wednesday (8.30am-2.30pm) at the Edgbaston Eye Consultants clinic in central Birmingham. Telephone: 0121 456 3444
Thursday mornings (8.30am -12.00pm) at the West Midlands Hospital in Halesowen, B63 2AH and Stourside Hospital in Stourbridge DY8 1UX. Telephone: 01384 632607 and 07384 253011
Saturday mornings (8.30am - 12.30pm) at the Westbourne Centre in central Birmingham 0121 456 0880
Due to these hospitals partaking in the national NHS resilience scheme (where private hospitals have offered their services for usage by the NHS), unfortunately some of these clinics have had to temporarily close or reduce in frequency.
Most patients living outside Birmingham prefer to see Mr Cheung at one of the central Birmingham locations. These are all approximately 10mins by taxi from Birmingham New Street Train station and 45 minutes taxi from Birmingham International Airport.
Currently 30% of Mr Cheung’s patients are from London: many of whom commute for their morning appointments by train, to arrive back home just around lunchtime.
Patients attending for eyelid problems rarely need to have dilating drops instilled during their consultation and are therefore usually fine to drive.
Mr Cheung’s operating lists are typically start in the morning and last until early afternoon. Most patients arrive on the day of the surgery about 30mins prior to their planned surgery slot, have their operation and then go home about 30-60 mins following surgery.
Less commonly patients book a hotel nearby for the night before and night of the actual operation. This is usually for convenience’s sake so that the commute is less rushed but Mr Cheung is quite happy for patients to commute back and forth on the day of their surgery.
Local Anaesthetic Surgery
Most patients undergo their surgery under local anaesthetic due to its lower costs and convenience. Patients often commute by public transport or are driven to the hospital by friends or family. For some smaller procedures Mr Cheung is happy for the patient themselves to drive and attend accompanied.
Twilight Sedation Surgery
Patients can request for an anaesthetist at extra cost to be present during the operation to administer sedation. Following intravenous sedation though, patients may have slightly slower reactions and are therefore advised not to drive nor operate machinery for 24 hours afterwards. They should attend hospital for their operation accompanied by a friend or family and can commute by public transport or be driven by car.