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Ann Surg Oncol ; 28(9): 4816-4826, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1190139


INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unparalleled changes to patient care, including the suspension of cancer surgery. Concerns regarding COVID-19-related risks to patients and healthcare workers with the re-introduction of major complex minimally invasive and open surgery have been raised. This study examines the COVID-19 related risks to patients and healthcare workers following the re-introduction of major oesophago-gastric (EG) surgery. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This was an international, multi-centre, observational study of consecutive patients treated by open and minimally invasive oesophagectomy and gastrectomy for malignant or benign disease. Patients were recruited from nine European centres serving regions with a high population incidence of COVID-19 between 1 May and 1 July 2020. The primary endpoint was 30-day COVID-19-related mortality. All staff involved in the operative care of patients were invited to complete a health-related survey to assess the incidence of COVID-19 in this group. RESULTS: In total, 158 patients were included in the study (71 oesophagectomy, 82 gastrectomy). Overall, 87 patients (57%) underwent MIS (59 oesophagectomy, 28 gastrectomy). A total of 403 staff were eligible for inclusion, of whom 313 (78%) completed the health survey. Approaches to mitigate against the risks of COVID-19 for patients and staff varied amongst centres. No patients developed COVID-19 in the post-operative period. Two healthcare workers developed self-limiting COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: Precautions to minimise the risk of COVID-19 infection have enabled the safe re-introduction of minimally invasive and open EG surgery for both patients and staff. Further studies are necessary to determine the minimum requirements for mitigations against COVID-19.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Health Personnel , Humans , Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures , SARS-CoV-2