Routine operations at four hospitals are set to be cancelled for the third consecutive day due to issues over winter pressures.
Sion James, the deputy medical director of Hywel Dda University Health Board, said operations would again be called off on Wednesday.
Planned inpatient surgery is affected at Bronglais, Prince Philip, Glangwili and Withybush hospitals in west Wales.
The health board said it would contact patients whose ops were cancelled.
Mr James said: “It looks likely there will be more postponements. We are still holding outpatient appointments. We are still doing emergency procedures and some on the day but more procedures will be postponed after today.
“We’d like to take this opportunity to apologise to patients that have been affected. This was the only option left for us. Patient safety is the most important thing for us.
“There’s been a number of challenges across the health board. We’ve had the norovirus breakout, the flu breakout and it means there’s more people in our hospitals. Our hospitals are full.”
Dr Phil Banfield, chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA) Welsh consultants committee, said the organisation is meeting with the Welsh Government on Wednesday and will discuss winter pressures.
He said: “There isn’t one person to blame for this – this is an issue within the system.
“There are two factors here – there’s the lost operations, people having elective surgery who may become worse and become emergencies as a result.
“We’re hearing reports of cancer surgery now being cancelled as well throughout different hospitals in Wales.
“But also the reason why the operations are being cancelled is because surgical beds are full of medical patients, now that puts the wrong type of patient in the wrong hospital bed at the wrong time and they’re clearly not getting the care that they should do.
“If we think this is distressing for the staff, having to watch this, this is hugely distressing for families and patients who are on the end of these cancellations and we need to find that capacity immediately.”
What are winter pressures?
Although the NHS is under pressure all year round, the period after Christmas and the first few weeks of new year is often the most difficult as staff try to deal with significant numbers of seriously ill patients.
There are several reasons for this – as a result of the festive season’s bank holidays, there has been reduced access to community services such as GPs and social care, which can cause logjams to develop in hospitals.
During the holiday period, people might also put off getting a potential health problem checked out.
Pressures are also caused because of winter bugs, with the current flu season already looking worse than last year.
The Welsh Government said it had given £30m to health boards to provide extra capacity this winter.
Helen Howson, the director of the Bevan Commission, a think-tank which provides advice to the health minister, said there were “increased demands on the system”.
“What we have to do is to make sure that the system that we have in Wales both the health and care system is sustainable for the future, and that will sometimes will require us looking at things differently and addressing things in different ways.,” she added.
“That will need people to change and for the public to work with us to be part of finding some of those solutions.”
The British Medical Association in Wales said on Tuesday it was concerned lives could be needlessly lost unless there was urgent action to tackle winter pressures.
Meanwhile, First Minister Mark Drakeford said the system “has proved resilient” to pressures in the past two weeks “because of the plans put in place by the health boards, supported by the Welsh Government and that additional investment we have put in place”.
Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways: