ELECTIVE SURGERY UPDATE: Governor Ricketts has lifted the restrictions on elective surgery in Nebraska starting May 4th, 2020. ENT Specialties is tentatively planning to resume elective surgeries at Physicians Surgical Center beginning the week of May 11th. We are in the process of ensuring that there will be adequate testing and protective equipment (PPE) available that will be required for our surgeons, staff and patients. Because many of our surgeries are higher risk for aerosol spread of the novel Coronavirus, we will be requiring pre-operative COVID-19 testing on some patients. The Physicians will be reviewing their schedules to try to accommodate patients with the most time-sensitive issues first. Patients will be contacted by our surgery schedulers to schedule their date for surgery in the coming days to weeks.

APPOINTMENTS: We will also begin to schedule routine office appointments in the near future. Our office has been working hard to make changes to comply with CDC guidelines to keep you safe when you visit for your appointment:

  • Upon arrival, we will take your temperature
  • All individuals will be screened at the door for any COVID-19 symptoms and travel history
  • We ask that you please limit one parent or guardian per child, and no additional children
  • Social distance in the lobby area
  • We ask that all individuals wear a mask to the office, including children over 2 years old if they are able. Please bring a mask from home if possible.
  • If you have a fever of 100.4º or higher, we will reschedule your appointment to a later date or transition you to our telemedicine program
  • We will continue to offer telemedicine appointments and would be happy to “see” you in this way moving forward when possible, especially if you are feeling ill or are travelling from out of town. If you are travelling from a county that has a directive health measure in place, we may ask you to schedule a telemedicine appointment or be seen at a later date.
  • Due to the high risk of aerosolization of the virus from procedures in the nose and throat, we will still likely have limitations on office procedures such as nasal and throat scopes.

The health and safety of our patients and staff is our top priority. Please continue to have patience with us as we work through this unprecedented time. We look forward to seeing you!

The Physicians and Staff of ENT Specialties and Physicans Surgery Center

The current Covid-19 (commonly referred to as Coronavirus) pandemic has affected all health systems and the manner in which they provide care. The virus is very contagious with potential severe health effects. Due to this, health care across the country is being limited to help prevent the spread of the virus. Our clinic will be following guidelines set out by local, state and federal officials to limit elective office visits that could be seen at another time in all individuals but especially in elderly patients, those with lung disease, and those on immune suppressing medications. We will be transitioning appropriate patients to our telemedicine program to better serve our patients and decrease risk. We will continue to see patients and perform surgery for those patients with emergency, urgent, and semi-urgent concerns (health issues which would result in potential significant permanent health effects if the condition was not evaluated, a proper diagnosis was not made, and/or the condition treated with medical or possibly surgical management within 4-6 weeks). This includes when needed evaluating potential time sensitive conditions so we know their state and getting them worked up as necessary. If a patient needs non-urgent surgery they will be on a list to perform once we know we can safely.

As the virus resides within the nose, healthcare professionals who examine and work in these areas at particular risk. Based on information obtained from areas affected already to a significant degree by the pandemic it has been identified that Otolaryngologists, surrounding staff, and patients are especially vulnerable to viral transmission at high rates and to more severe levels of disease through mucus, blood, and aerosolized particles when examining or operating in these areas. Due to the very high concentration of virus in the nose and the risk of spread with aerosolization, we are not performing nasal or laryngeal scopes or nasal procedures in office and only in emergency situations in the operating room. These procedures require a negative flow room and full protective gear (“space suits”) to keep patients and providers safe; so if these procedures are urgently or emergently necessary we will triage them to the ER for care under appropriate precautions. ENT Specialties is suspending any elective surgeries that involve the nose, sinuses, pharynx or larynx due to the high risk of transmission of the virus when operating in these areas (including T&A). Surgeries already scheduled will be cancelled and rescheduled at a later date, when we feel it is safer to proceed. We will continue to perform a select number of surgeries which we feel are semi-elective such as ear tubes in children who have infections not clearing with antibiotics, as waiting months in these patients may not be appropriate.

If you are unsure if you have an urgent issue, we would be happy to triage the decision as to if you should be seen now, or in the future. Our group will continue to cover Bryan Health Center and provide care in the hospital setting. We are looking forward to the return of normalcy in the future and will be ramping up services at the time to address unmet Ear, Nose, and Throat needs in the community. If you have concerning symptoms for Covid-19, please access the Bryan Health Hospital protocol for being tested. Please be safe and follow all community health recommendations.

The Physicians and Staff of ENT Specialties and Physicans Surgery Center

Ear, Nose & Throat Specialties, PC
5055 A Street, Suite 300  •  Lincoln, Nebraska 68510
402-488-5600  •  Fax 402-488-7649