MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Some hospitals have resumed elective surgeries after postponing them because of the pandemic. It had resulted in millions of dollars of lost revenue per week.

M Health Fairview says it’s restored some critical medical care while balancing the need for surgery and preserving PPE. Mayo Clinic said they are moving forward to make sure a delayed procedure doesn’t impact patient’s health.

Cancelled surgeries and procedures across the state due to COVID-19 left thousands of patients wondering when their appointment would be rescheduled. Russ Steffensmeier got the call from Mayo Clinic in Rochester this week.

“Wanted to know they were starting surgery back up and if I was willing to come in and I said, ‘I can be there in 4 hours if I needed to be,’” Steffensmeier said.

Doctors diagnosed Steffensmeier with prostate cancer earlier this year and the Vietnam veteran and former volunteer firefighter was in need of surgery. He said while he waited, his sons worried.

“I think it was probably harder on them worrying about whether I’m going to be here next week or not,” Steffensmeier said.

He says he feels like one of the lucky ones. And is grateful to move forward with treatment.

“Who knows nowadays how fast cancer can spread if it gets in your bones and other parts of your body. You know, you go through hell on your body too instead of sitting here worrying about if you got the virus,” Steffensmeier said.

Annette Mansfield was among the first called back by Mayo. Her dermatology procedure moved forward on Wednesday despite being pushed back until May. And says she felt comfortable with being there.

“They took you through a step process. They had guards there to make sure people followed the process, they screened you, did a temperature check, had hand sanitizer every step of the way,” Mansfield said.

She hopes her experience helps calm the nerves of anyone worried about being contacted for a surgery during the pandemic.

“Don’t let fear stop you from doing what you need to do for yourself,” Mansfield said.

Steffensmeier is going through a process at Mayo. He saw an anesthesiologist on Friday. He’ll go back Saturday for a COVID-19 test. If it’s negative he’ll have his surgery on Monday.

Jennifer Mayerle

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