Press Release

COVID-19 – Coronavirus

Virus COVID-19

You will find on this page the most recent information concerning GrS Montreal in connection with the COVID-19 coronavirus.


OCTOBER 1, 2020 – UPDATE ON COVID-19

Good day to all patients and partners of GrS Montreal,

Several major Canadian cities are currently facing a second wave of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Montreal is not spared and this situation worries many people for whom gender affirmation surgery is planned in the near future.

We know how important these surgeries are to you and we work very hard to continue to provide quality services in a safe environment. We are pleased to report that due to the sustained efforts of our medical and professional staff, we managed keeping our facilities COVID-free.

We have no plans to proceed to a second temporary closure of our hospital. Everything is being done to maintain our activities despite the pandemic. In addition, we continue to monitor the provincial and regional situation very closely in order to proactively adjust our safety measures.

Our discussions with government authorities have highlighted the uniqueness of gender affirmation surgeries for our Canadian patients. Rest reassured that unless there is an explicit directive from the Ministry of Health and Social Services, we will do everything in our power to keep GrS Montreal in operation.

We would like to remind you to continue to follow the socio-sanitary recommendations issued by the Department of Public Health in your region. In addition, it is essential for our patients to respect the rules that were sent to you before your surgery. A single case of contagion by negligence would jeopardize all the efforts made by our team and our clients, as well as the care we provide every day.

Thank you for helping us create a welcoming and safe place!

The entire GrS Montreal team.


Archives

July 15, 2020

To all clients of the Complexe chirurgical CMC and GRS Montreal, For the sake of transparency and to answer several questions raised in recent weeks, we wish to present today an account of our activities since the reopening on June 1, 2020. First, all Canadian provinces now allow their patients to receive the care they need at GRS Montreal. In addition, the increase in our surgical activities to compensate for delays caused by the pandemic has paid off. All vaginoplasty surgeries have been or will be performed before the fall. To do this, we have increased the number of surgeries performed each week and the surgeons have also shortened their summer vacation. For the other gender affirmation surgeries, they will all be performed before the end of the year despite a closure of almost 3 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The medical and nursing staff will be on vacation from July 25 to August 16 inclusive. However, the GRS Montreal administrative office remains open to answer your questions, process new requests for surgical procedures and prepare for return. We are very pleased to have successfully implemented sanitary measures quickly to allow all types of surgeries to be resumed. We remain aware that new rules and procedures may have made their stay more difficult for some people. The ban on receiving visitors or companions is one of them. We thank you for your understanding on this subject. These measures that we have taken to prevent the transmission of the virus will have enabled us to offer surgeries under general anesthesia as of June 22. In addition, there are no reports of COVID-19 infection in our facilities. We are very empathetic that the delays caused by the temporary closure have caused great suffering for many people. We want to thank you for your patience and understanding in the face of such an exceptional and unexpected situation. Thank you for your confidence, The management.


To all clients of the Complexe chirurgical CMC, You already know that we resumed part of our surgical activities on June 1st. At that time, we could not resume surgical procedures that needed general anesthesia since the risk of contamination to COVID-19 was higher and the necessary protective equipment was not available. The situation has changed, and we are happy to announce the gradual resumption of surgeries under general anesthesia as of Monday, June 22, 2020. The quantity of surgeries performed will be less than usual at the beginning while ensuring that the supply of protection material is well established. The main gender affirmation surgeries that are performed under general anesthesia are mastectomies (masculinization of the torso) and the different stages of phalloplasty. Patients who have had their surgery cancelled during the temporary closure of the CMC will receive a call for a new appointment in the original order of cancellation. Please note that the surgeries initially scheduled from June 22 remain on schedule. Someone from the administrative services will contact you shortly. We thank you for all the patience you have shown since the beginning of this pandemic. The management.


Montreal, May 15, 2020. Hello to all our patients. We recently informed you of the discussions held between the management of GRS Montreal and health officials in each of the Canadian provinces. We were also discussing with the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) because we needed their approval to resume our surgical services. Today, we are very happy to announce that GRS Montreal was authorized to partially resume its surgical activities for trans and not binary people, starting Monday, June 1, 2020. We will try to explain in this press release, with the greatest possible transparency, under what conditions we will resume our activities. First, it should be noted that the MSSS requests to use part of our facilities and our personnel to perform “semi-urgent” surgeries (mainly oncology). It is therefore to be expected that for a certain period, a portion of our facilities will be occupied by surgeons from the public health network. Since the CMC is offering its facilities in partnership with the healthcare network during this difficult period, the MSSS is permitting us at the same time to perform gender affirmation surgeries. Regarding the types of surgeries that we will be allowed to perform upon reopening, only procedures that do not require general anesthesia can first take place. General anesthesia requires that the patient be completely asleep and sometimes intubated during the surgical procedure. This type of anesthesia carries more risks of spreading the coronavirus and requires the use of special equipment which the public health system badly needs (N95 masks for example). Vaginoplasty is one of the only surgeries that do not require general anesthesia, so this surgery will be given priority when reopening. We are closely monitoring the situation to allow the resumption of surgeries that require general anesthesia as soon as possible. Most Canadian provinces have authorized the resumption of surgical activities in Montreal despite the state of the pandemic and the funding of surgeries has never been questioned. However, some provinces currently refuse to allow their patients to travel to Montreal to receive gender reassignment surgery. Before the publication of this press release, people from the provinces for which we still not have a plan will have been contacted to unfortunately postpone their surgeries. We are pursuing our supporting efforts to the provinces so that all Canadian patients may have access to the gender affirmation surgery as soon as possible. When resuming the elective procedures, we will do everything we can to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. According to the health and safety instructions, infection prevention measures will be deployed in each of our sectors. These measures include, among others:

  1. the compliance with the physical distancing instructions – signs and markings on the ground will be installed both outside and inside for traffic and distance to be respected;
  2. the installation of curtains, screens and plexiglass will be carried out;
  3. the increased maintenance of our facilities;
  4. the personnel will be subjected daily to a questionnaire on their state of health;
  5. wearing personal protective equipment (N95 mask, gloves, eye protection, gown) for medical procedures generating aerosols;
  6. the wearing of a mask or a face cover at all times for all personnel;
  7. the wearing a mask or face cover at all times for all patients;
  8. companions and visitors will not be allowed in our facilities;
  9. security guards will be posted at the entrances and exits and will ensure that those with access comply with the instructions and preventive measures;
  10. a telehealth program has been put in place to avoid displacement as much as possible – each case will be assessed individually;
  11. an infection prevention program and a reference guide are being drafted and will be available soon;
  12. the continuation of telework for staff, when possible.

The following preventive measures while travelling and the age of patients will be in effect:

  1. online questionnaire for a COVID-19 preoperative triage;
  2. compulsory confinement at home 14 days before surgery;
  3. triage questionnaire upon admission to the Complexe chirurgical CMC;
  4. obligation to wear a mask or face cover during the trip to our establishment;
  5. surgeries for patients aged 70 and over will be postponed to a later date;
  6. patients between the ages of 60 and 69 should be reassessed individually by the medical team;
  7. Patients from outside Canada will not be able to resume surgery immediately due to the excessive risk of coronavirus contamination. As soon as the situation allows, we will contact you to welcome you to Montreal.

We are aware that some of the information in this press release might raise questions for some people. The general message to remember is that we are restarting our activities carefully and gradually for the well-being our patients and staff. We are aware that the situation is changing quickly and be assured that you will be notified of any changes or when the restrictions mentioned above will cease. Our teams will work very hard to increase the surgical capacity and at the same time, resume most of the postponed surgeries before the end of the year. Thank you for the understanding you all showed during this temporary closure. The best is yet to come. Take good care of yourself. The management.


Montreal, May 14, 2020. To all our patients. This week we wanted to keep you informed of our ongoing efforts. Since discussions are still ongoing with the Ministries of Health of each province, we will delay to next week our decision on a possible postponement of surgeries for the week of June 1st, 2020. The reopening of Complexe chirurgical CMC is our goal with our talks with the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) and with equivalents in each province. Several elements such as conditions related to travel between provinces and approval of funding for surgeries are under consideration. Your testimonies by email and via the Facebook platform allowed us to build a serious argument. Unfortunately, we are unable to decide today on a likely reopening in June. We should be able to confirm a decision early next week because we need the permission of the MSSS to proceed. Psychosocial resources are available if you feel the need. For our English-speaking patients, peer support is available to answer your calls 24 hours a day at 1 877 330-6366 (Trans LifeLine). For people speaking French, the ATQ organization offers a help line dedicated to trans people: 1 855 909-9038 # 1. We thank you for your patience. The entire Complexe chirurgical CMC and GrS Montreal team is looking forward to seeing you quickly and in good health! The Executive Management


Montreal, May 5, 2020. To all our patients. Each week, we closely follow the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ministerial recommendations in order to make the best decisions regarding the safety of our patients. This week, once again, we are forced to announce the postponement of our surgical activities for another week. Therefore, we have the painful obligation to inform you that no surgery will be possible until the end of May 2020. We are sensitive to the anguish this situation may cause to many people. We also intend to have a plan in place that would make up for part of the backlog caused by the temporary closure linked to COVID-19. Psychosocial resources are available if you feel the need. For our English-speaking patients, peer support is available to answer your calls 24 hours a day at 1 877 330-6366 (Trans LifeLine). For people speaking French, the ATQ organization offers a help line dedicated to trans people: 1 855 909-9038 # 1. The entire Complexe chirurgical CMC and GRS Montreal team is looking forward to seeing you quickly and in good health! The Executive Management


Montreal, April 29, 2020. To all our patients. As stated in our weekly update, we are assessing every week the possibility of reopening the Complexe chirurgical CMC. Given the uncertainty that still hangs concerning the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must again take the unfortunate decision to postpone all surgeries and consultation appointments currently scheduled between May 18 and 22, 2020 inclusively. Although we have no control as to when we will be able to resume our activities, we are already working on a plan to be ready as soon as we receive the green light from the provincial health authorities. We are sensitive to the anguish this situation may cause to many people. We also intend to have a plan in place that would make up for part of the backlog caused by the closure linked to COVID-19. Psychosocial resources are available if you feel the need. For our English-speaking patients, peer support is available to answer your calls 24 hours a day at 1 877 330-6366 (Trans LifeLine). For people speaking French, the ATQ organization offers a help line dedicated to trans people: 1 855 909-9038 # 1. The entire Complexe chirurgical CMC and GrS Montreal team is looking forward to seeing you quickly and in good health! The Executive Management


Montreal, April 21, 2020. To all our patients. As stated in our update last week, we are assessing every week the possibility of reopening the Complexe chirurgical CMC. Given the uncertainty that still hangs concerning the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must again take the unfortunate decision to postpone all surgeries and consultation appointments currently scheduled between May 11 and 15, 2020 inclusively. We are sensitive to the anguish this situation can cause to many people. Psychosocial resources are available if you feel the need. For our English-speaking patients, peer support is available to answer your calls 24 hours a day at 1 877 330-6366 (Trans LifeLine). For people speaking French, the ATQ organization offers a help line dedicated to trans people: 1 855 909-9038 # 1. The entire Complexe chirurgical CMC and GrS Montreal team is looking forward to seeing you quickly and in good health!The Executive Management


April 16, 2020 Hello to all our patients Given the uncertainty that still hangs on the reopening of private clinics and hospitals, we must now take the unfortunate decision to postpone all surgeries and consultation appointments currently scheduled between May 4 and 8, 2020 inclusively. We are aware that this decision will bring its share of disappointments and anxieties for many of our patients. All professionals and staff of the Complexe chirurgical CMC and GrS Montreal are also affected by the temporary closure of the business. However, as the Quebec situation of Covid-19 seems to be pointing in an encouraging direction, the reopening of the Complexe chirurgical CMC will be evaluated weekly rather than monthly. Following this logic, we will issue a statement next week to determine if the surgeries scheduled during the week of May 11th, 2020 are to be postponed or not. Psychosocial resources are available if you feel the need. For our English-speaking patients, peer-support is available to answer your calls 24 hours a day at 1 877 330-6366 (Trans LifeLine). For people speaking French, the ATQ organization offers a help line dedicated to trans people: 1 855 909-9038 # 1. The entire Complexe chirurgical CMC and GRS Montreal team is looking forward to seeing you quickly and in good health! The management


Montreal, April 15, 2020 Many people whose surgeries have been cancelled due to the pandemic have asked the following questions:

  • When will I get my new surgery date?
  • How are you going to proceed to reschedule the surgeries?
  • Will I end up at the end of the list?

First, no new surgeries have been scheduled since the closure of the Complexe chirurgical CMC on March 18, 2020. Since we are uncertain when we will be able to resume our activities, and since it is out of our control, we do not know exactly when we will be able to give you a new surgery date. However, rest assured that a team is already at work trying to find alternatives to minimize the waiting time. We are conscious of the insecurity that this may cause you, but the health and well-being of our patients remain at the core of our priorities. Once we have the green light to reopen the Complexe chirurgical CMC, we will contact you as soon as possible to offer you a new date for your surgical procedure. When the time comes, we will take into account the rank of your surgery on the cancellation list, the directives about travel restrictions in your own province, your personal availability for the date that will be offered to you, as well as the type of surgery and the availability of the surgeons. We are monitoring the situation closely and further communications will follow as required. Thank you for your support and valuable collaboration. The Executive Management


Montreal, Tuesday, April 8, 2020 The management of the Complexe chirurgical CMC and its subsidiary GrS Montreal follows the news concerning COVID-19 very closely. Currently, all surgeries and office consultations are cancelled until the end of April 2020. Since we are still uncertain about the date of reopening of our establishment, we must make certain recommendations to patients having a surgery date planned in May 2020:

  • Do not purchase non-refundable airline tickets before we contact you to confirm if your surgery will take place;
    • For people who have already purchased their tickets, do not cancel them at this time.
  • If medication needs to be stopped before your surgery, follow the recommendations provided in the preoperative documents. If we must extend the closure of the establishment, you will be able to resume your usual medication until another date is confirmed.

We hope to be able to inform you sometime next week (April 13) whether the surgeries scheduled in May 2020 will take place. We thank you for your usual understanding, The management of the Complexe chirurgical CMC and GRS Montreal.


March 26, 2020 The GrS Montreal management team wishes to keep you informed of the decisions made by its members. Considering the evolution of the situation surrounding the COVID-19 virus, GrS Montreal is forced to postpone all surgeries and consultations planned by the end of April 2020. The people concerned will receive a call from us shortly. Your safety and well-being remain our priority in these difficult times. We are working very hard to prepare for the reopening of the hospital to minimize the impact on our patients. We understand that this temporary closure will cause significant suffering for many people. If you need to talk, a peer-support hotline (Trans Lifeline) is available for English-speaking patients. You can contact the them by calling 1-877-330-6366. In these uncertain times, the entire GrS Montreal team wants you to take care of yourself. We hope to see you again as soon as possible.


March 18, 2020 The Quebec Government recommends the restriction of access to nonessential services in order to prevent the spreading of COVID-19 virus. Following the latest directives of the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services concerning the elective surgeries, we are saddened to inform you that the Complexe chirurgical CMC is required to cease carrying on its surgical activities until further notice. All surgical procedures must be postponed until the Quebec Government social-health directives allow us to resume our activities. We know that this situation might be difficult for you, but your health and safety are important to us. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is an unusual event that may affect people physical and psychologically. In this respect, you may experience feelings such as stress, anxiety or depression. Should you find yourself in one of these situations, we are strongly recommending you seek help. We are currently working on the development of a plan that will allow us to resume our activities as soon as these measures are lifted in order to minimize the waiting time when the situation is back to normal. However, some services will remain active. It will be possible for people who underwent a surgical procedure to contact the postoperative clinic by leaving a message at 514 333-1572 or by email at asclepiade@cmcmontreal.com. Please note that the resources will be limited and that we will respond to emergencies only. For any other question or information, we recommend that you:

  • consult the postoperative information documents that you received during your convalescence;
  • consult your treating physician if you note any changes in your health status. He may contact us at all times at 514 333-1572, ext. 200.

If your situation requires immediate attention, contact your local emergency services. We are monitoring the situation closely and we will contact you as soon as the situation is back to normal.


March 13th 2020 On March 13, in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Quebec government ordered a ban on non-essential visits to hospitals, residential and long-term care centres, intermediate resources, family-type resources for the elderly and vulnerable adults and private seniors’ homes throughout Québec’s territory. From today until further notice, patient visits are suspended at the Centre Métropolitain de Chirurgie and the Asclépiade convalescence home. This exceptional measure will ensure the protection of our patients and prevent the spread of the virus. Only authorized staff will be admitted to the facility. Companions of a patient in day surgery will not be allowed to move around the facility. Until the patient’s medical discharge, they will be asked to wait in a reserved area of the waiting room at the reception located on Poincaré Street. Since 6 a.m. this morning, measures for the rapid identification for people who may be infected by the coronavirus have been put in place. Everyone who access the facility is asked about their travels over the past 4 weeks and the presence of fever or respiratory symptoms. Also, if you want more information about COVID-19, visit the Quebec government Website http://quebec.ca/coronavirus If you have a cough or fever, call free of charge 1-877-644-4545. Your actions, your behavior and compliance with these control measures have a major impact on our ability to limit the pandemic. We are monitoring the situation closely and further communications will follow as required. Thank you for your valuable collaboration, Complexe chirurgical CMC


March 13th 2020 We would like to inform you that CMC Montreal is following the situation very closely regarding the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. We want to highlight the strategies put in place to protect our patients, staff and partners. Since March 10, 2020, all countries outside of Canada have now been on the list of countries under increased surveillance. As a result, CMC Montreal will cancel and postpone all surgery of patients from outside Canada until further notice. For Canadian patients, an evaluation questionnaire has been developed to identify patients who may be affected by the coronavirus. Fourteen (14) days before their surgery date, every patient who will be admitted to the Complexe chirurgical CMC will complete this questionnaire. A nurse will be responsible for assessing each case and providing appropriate recommendations. If there is potential or confirmed close contact with a case of COVID-19, the surgery will be cancelled and postponed to a further date. If the patient is not at risk, the surgery will take place as planned. The visitors will also be questioned. In case of serious doubt, access to the centre will be denied. Other preventive measures have been put in place:

  • In order to prevent spreading of the virus, we are limiting the number of visitors per patient to ONE visitor until further notice.
  • Surveillance personnel are installed at all the entrance doors of the building.
  • We will keep a record of all people who enter to the Complexe chirurgical CMC. Everyone who comes to the centre will be questioned about their risk of exposure to the coronavirus. If there is a serious doubt, these people will be denied access to the centre.
  • Sanitary practices for the prevention and control of infections (hand-washing, respiratory etiquette) are applied scrupulously.
  • The maintenance of equipment, care equipment and the environment are enhanced.
  • In the outpatient clinic, all people with flu-like symptoms are advised to cancel their appointment and reschedule at a later date.
  • In order to avoid any potential contact with carriers of the virus all trips, conferences, training and other professional travels of employees have been cancelled.

Given the rapid development, we remain alert and further communications will follow as required. Respectfully, Complexe chirurgical CMC

  1. Thank you so much for your frequent updates on the situation. It has been very helpful to know I won’t be kept in the dark on changes to my surgery this summer!

  2. Muriel Brown

    Thank you for keeping us updated. I can only hope my own operation will happen this summer, and those who are in the same spot as I am will get it done soon too. It’s been a struggle to cope knowing I was only 3 days way.

  3. Thank you for the updates! I hope you’re able to reopen soon, I’m very hopefully I’ll be able to have my surgery this summer.

  4. Thank you for the updates! If the clinic reopens for top surgeries before my initial top surgery appointment, will I still be getting surgery on my predicted date or will it be given to people whose appointments were cancelled?

  5. Meadow Cameron

    Hi, my vaginoplasty was suppose to be this month on the 25 but you guys will not be re-opened yet…. what will happen with that. will my surgery be right away? will you be passing other people first… there is only a difference of 5 days…. thank you for opening back up, it means so much honestly. I hope you guys stay safe and I love you guys!

    • Hello 🙂
      I am very sorry that your surgery was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will increase the number of surgeries we perform every week and everyone who has had their surgery canceled will be given a new surgery date. We will do our best to resume appointments quickly.

      I hope to see you soon in Montreal! 🙂

  6. Hi! Thank you for this update. My partner from BC is scheduled to have vaginoplasty on June 10, and she is desperately awaiting confirmation for this date. When can she buy plane tickets?

    Additionally, will she be allowed to have visitors at any time in the post-surgery care facility that is separate from the hospital?

    • Hello Erica. Your partner will get a call from us next week about the surgery. Unfortunately, it won’t be possible to have visitor at the Asclepiade (recovery home) considering the risks related to the coronavirus. 🙁

  7. Sarah McGuire

    Thank you so much, to both GRS Montreal and l’Asclepiade. You did a wonderful job at taking every possible safeguard to give me my surgery, while maintaining excellent care!

  8. Robyn Woodland

    Hello! Regarding your July 15th update, specifically the sentence “All vaginoplasty surgeries have been or will be performed before the fall:”
    I had a vaginoplasty surgery scheduled for June that got cancelled because BC was not allowing patients to fly out to GRS Montreal at the time. Does this update mean I should be expecting to get a new date by the end of the Summer? If this is the case, I’d really appreciate knowing so I can let work know and begin loosely planning for surgery.

    Thanks!

    • Hello Robyn Woodland!
      Thanks for your question!

      Combined surgeries (2 surgeries at the same time) might take a little big longer (not much) but yes, we hope to resume them all before winter!

      Do not hesitate to call our office to get a more precise answer!

      • Robyn Woodland

        Hello!

        I know this comment is very old now, but I recently have tried calling your office to get a more precise answer of when my surgery date might be. I’m just commenting here in case it gets seen here before my call is returned.

        My main question is, can I still expect my surgery to happen before Winter? Since having my surgery cancelled so close to the date, it’s been getting harder and harder to cope. Any information would be super duper helpful!

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