City doctors say an increasing number of patients prefer to undergo surgery in winter, as the weather is conducive for quick healing
As citizens get their woolens out for the cold, there is a substantial group of people who are heading for hospitals to undergo elective surgeries.
And why is it that people are making a beeline for hospitals? City doctors claim the age-old concept of low temperatures aiding wounds to heal faster is the reason for the surge in surgeries.
Going under the knife: Doctors claim the age-old belief that low temperatures aid in the healing process makes patients opt for surgeries in winter. Representation pic
The winter keeps the ophthalmologists the busiest as the number of eye surgeries have increased in the city. State-run JJ Hospital's ophthalmology department, which performs approximately 100 cataract surgeries a day, now has 200 surgeries scheduled.
Explaining the trend, Dr Ragini Parekh, heading the ophthalmology department of the hospital, said, "Seasons do affect surgeries. We see more patients wanting to do cataracts in winter. Summer is an uncomfortable season, while humidity in the monsoon can trigger infections. Therefore many prefer winters for the surgery."
However, Dr Darshan Chudgar, consultant ophthalmologist, Kohinoor Hospital, said, "The modern day procedures will provide a patient with the best result irrespective of the season. Earlier, getting operated in winter would make sense when the operation theatres and hospital wards did not have air conditioning, but the basic motto for a surgeon as well as the patient is 'earlier the better'."
But he added that his practice had also seen a boost in the winter.
Rise in occupancy And it's not just eye surgeries that have seen a rise in the winter. In fact, planned surgeries in other specialties also see a rise in this season. Professor of gynaecology, Dr Ashok Anand, said, "In public hospitals we witness a rise in bed occupancy as winter is considered a healthy season. I have patients who have been diagnosed in March of a tumour and have scheduled their operation this month."
Stating that the waiting list at private hospitals also increases during the months of November and December, Dr P S Ramani, senior spine-neurosurgeon specialist, Lilavati Hospital, said, "Winter is a good season for the healing of wounds. It is not just the season, but there are other factors that contribute to the rise in surgeries. Patients from abroad especially Europe usually migrate to India in this period and get operated adding to the bed occupancy."
He added, "Also it's a relatively silent period as religious obligations are over and the examinations of kids are yet to start so parents can easily afford to get operated now and get enough rest too. We definitely see a rise in those wanting to get operated for slip disc and cervical spondylitis now."