Are You Apprehensive About Returning for Surgery?

While this is a challenging and anxious time, your hospital is prepared, and your surgeon and all those providing care are ready to resume surgery. Patient safety is ― and will always be ― our top priority. Get care if you need care.

Research shows that patients are anxious about returning to hospitals, despite many needing essential or even life-saving procedures. According to new research findings, more than a third of patients would not feel comfortable returning to care until at least three months have passed after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted in their area, and one in five would not feel comfortable until over six months have passed.*

"As a surgeon, the well-being and safety of my patients is my #1 concern," says WhidbeyHealth surgeon Dr. Garth Miller.

"While #COVID19 may be the new reality, please do not let it deter you from seeking necessary medical care. We want to make you feel as comfortable as possible and address any questions you have."

It is understandable that you ― as a patient ― may still have questions and specific concerns about the safety of undergoing an operation as COVID-19 continues to impact our community. To help you navigate through this time, the American College of Surgeons has released new tools to support frank conversations, including a patient-surgeon discussion guide with suggested questions you can ask your surgeon to feel more prepared for your procedure. The guide also covers common concerns, such as how the check-in process has changed, what to expect during appointments, safeguards to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and how the ongoing pandemic may change after-operation care.

As with all services available to our patients during the Coronavirus pandemic, the reinforcement of protective safety precautions for all patients and staff are our first priority in re-introducing services, including COVID-19 testing for surgeons and patients before each surgery. Health and safety protocols for staff and patients during any visit will be strictly enforced.

"Please know that we want to hear what is on your mind and answer your questions," Dr. Miller says. "Do not delay necessary care that is critical to your long-term health, and do not hesitate to reach out to schedule a discussion."

To talk to any of our surgeons or to schedule an appointment, please call 360.678.6799.

To learn more about the American College of Surgeon’s patient resources, visit

Keep an eye on our website and follow us on Facebook for updates! We’re online at and

Source: *Revive Health. "Consumer Survey Update COVID-19." Accessed May 26, 2020.  Available at: