Covid-19 FAQ

Our patients are important to us, and we know you have many questions about how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect your health, especially any surgeries you might need. We understand your concerns and will try to answer as many of your questions as possible on this page.

If you are a current patient or have an upcoming surgery scheduled, someone from our office will call you with updates to your individual situation.

If you have an urgent medical need – or can’t find an answer to your question here – please call us at 763-780-6699. Someone from our staff will answer the phone between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Please know that because of reduced staffing, your wait time on the phone may be slightly longer than normal. Before and after those hours, your call will be referred to the surgeon on call. As always, we are available for your urgent needs 24/7.

Frequently Asked Questions During The Covid-19 Outbreak

Q. Should I cancel my elective surgery?


Each surgery is unique. Please talk with your doctor about whether or not it is safe to postpone your elective surgery. Our surgeons are reviewing every scheduled surgery, and our team will be calling you if it is safe to postpone your elective surgery.

Q. What is SGS doing to make sure the waiting room and exam rooms are clean and safe for patients?


All patients and staff are screened prior to coming into the clinic. In addition to our regular, vigorous cleaning, our team members are constantly wiping down any areas that have been touched by a patient. We require staff to test their temperature before being allowed to work, as well.

Q. What should I do if I have an appointment scheduled?


Please talk with your doctor about the importance of keeping or rescheduling your appointment. Our surgeons are reviewing every scheduled appointment, and our team will be calling you if it is safer to postpone your appointment. Our surgeons may be recommending that we offer you a telephonic and/or video appointment when medically appropriate.

Q. Can I still bring my spouse/parent/child with me to my appointment?


If it is possible for you to come alone, please do so in order to protect others. We are asking that patients do not bring visitors to the appointment unless absolutely necessary. If a visitor is needed, the visitor must be over 18 years of age and must not have had a known COVID-19 exposure in the last 14 days, a fever greater than 100.0 F. or a new onset of cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat in the last week.

Q. Do I need to have a COVID-19 test before any surgery?


Yes. You will need a pre-op exam and a COVID-19 test before any surgery can be performed. We will provide directions on how to schedule both of these procedures when we call you.

Q. Will I need to wear a mask in your clinic?


Yes. You will be asked to wear a mask, a bandana, or a scarf according to guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Learn more.

Q. Are you still seeing patients at all of your clinic locations?


No. We have consolidated our clinical practice to our core locations in Maple Grove, Robbinsdale, and Buffalo and have moved many of our support staff off-site to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 within our clinics. We also have limited the number of surgeons seeing patients for the same reason.

Frequently Asked Questions about Virtual Visits

Q. Are you offering remote or virtual visits?


Yes. If your surgeon believes your condition is appropriate for a virtual or video visit, we will contact you to make arrangements. If the surgeon believes that your condition needs a physical exam or if you prefer an in-person discussion, we will set up an appointment for you.

If you are a new patient, your referring physician may contact us to set up a virtual clinic visit for you. First, our medical team will gather your records, and one of our surgeons will review your situation. He or she will determine if your condition can wait until it is safer to come in for an in-person clinic visit, if you need an in-person visit right away, or if you could benefit from a video consultation. Then someone will call you to confirm. If you are an existing patient, you can call our office at 763-780-6699 to share your reason for wanting a video consultation.

Q. What kinds of conditions are best suited for virtual visits?


Many of our surgery follow-up visits can be conducted virtually if there are no complications or special concerns. Also, if you are not feeling well due to a contagious illness, such as a cold, flu, or COVID-19, a virtual visit will help protect other patients from being exposed to your illness. Your doctor can help you determine if a virtual visit is appropriate for you.

Q. I’ve never had a virtual visit before. How does it work?


If our surgeon determines that a virtual visit is right for you, you will be asked for your verbal consent to have this service provided. Someone from our team will send you an email to confirm the day and time of your visit, along with a link to a secure video site. On the day of your virtual visit, one of our medical assistants will call you to confirm your medications, allergies, and medical history and to ask you a few questions about your specific reason for requesting an appointment. At the time of your appointment, you will click on the link provided to enter a virtual waiting room. When the physician is ready to see you, he or she will meet you in a secure virtual exam room. He or she will identify any other medical providers in the room, and you will be asked to identify anyone else in your location. Please make sure you are in a quiet location so background sounds won’t interfere with the visit. Remember, during a virtual visit, your physician may be looking at your face on his or her screen instead of directly into the computer camera. This may seem a little awkward at first.

Q. How can I be assured of privacy?


Our surgeon will be in a private area, and we encourage you to make sure you are in a private space, too. We will adhere to all of the best practices regarding patient privacy during our virtual visit, including confidentiality and compliance.

Q. If I am an existing patient, can I see my regular surgeon?


We cannot guarantee that you will be able to see your regular physician. During the COVID-19 outbreak, many of our surgeons are working hard to treat patients in area hospitals, so we are rotating shifts at the clinic and on virtual consultations. This also protects our clinic patients from exposure to physicians who are working more closely with COVID-19 patients. Please rest assured that all of our surgeons are experts in their field and provide the same remarkable care to all of our patients.

Q. What equipment will I need to engage in a virtual consultation?


The best option is to have a computer with video capabilities, including a camera. If you don’t have a computer or a laptop with a camera, we still have options to talk with you remotely. We can use your phone video, we can chat with you via email through our Patient Portal, or we can simply have a telephone conversation with you.

Q. Can I have someone else on the call with me, even if that person isn’t in my home?


Yes. If you wish to have another person on the call with you, please let us know, and we can enable that person to join the conversation by phone.

Q. What if I have additional questions?


You are encouraged to call our office at 763-780-6699 any time if your condition changes or if you have questions about our virtual office visits. Our office hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. After that time, our answering service will take your call and forward a message to the surgeon on call at the time.