Background: To reduce the exposition risk to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in surgical patients more prone to develop serious forms of Coronavirus disease 2019, a reorganization that previewed the creation «COVID-19-free» hospitals or units was pursued. The aim of this study was to quantify the effect of clear pathways to reduce the risk of SARS-Cov-2 transmission, on postoperative complications. Methods: Data of all consecutive patients undergoing surgical procedure for colorectal diseases, between November 2019 and July 2020 in two Italian referral centers, were retrospectively analyzed. Patients were divided into two groups: the ones underwent surgical procedures during the period before the pandemic from November to March 2020 (Group 1) (before-COVID), and those who underwent surgical procedure from April to July 2020 during the pandemic (Group 2) (during-COVID pandemic). Results: Overall, 264 patients were collected, 168 (63.4%) in Group 1 and 96 (36.4%) Group 2. Preoperative characteristics were similar between groups; during the pandemic there was a higher proportion of patients who underwent surgical procedures for malignancy if compared with the period before pandemic (92.7% vs 72%; p= 0.001). Patients in Group 2 had a lower rate of postoperative general complications (21.9% vs 34.5%; p=0.03) and a lower rate of surgical complications (14.6% vs 25%; p=0.05). No difference in term of medical complications, infections, and intraoperative complications were found. Minimally invasive approach (OR 0.46; 95% CI .04 – 0.83; p= 0.01) and isolation of patients (OR, 0.18; 95% CI, 0.04 – 0.83; p=0.03) were independently associated with lower risk of postoperative complications. Conclusion: In this cohort study COVID-19-free pathways were significantly associated with low rate of postoperative morbidity in patients undergoing colorectal elective surgery.

Fuente: Surgery in Practice and Science
Available online 1 September 2022
In Press, Journal Pre-proof