SARS-CoV-2 dramatically affected the quality of life of millions of people worldwide. The healthcare systems are rearranging their resources to pursue surgical activity, but delays were inevitably expected, especially for benign hepato-biliary-pancreatic disease, such as gallstone disease.
To analyze the entity of the COVID-19 related effects on surgical activity for cholelithiasis, surveys were distributed to surgeons in different institutions across the world. Data showed that beds of intensive care units were mainly dedicated to SARS-CoV-2 patients. COVID-19 infections also affected part of the health caregivers, sometimes not adequately trained to the new operating room settings. As a consequence, elective surgeries for gallstone diseases which represents one of the most common surgical procedures-were postponed, and medical treatments were preferred whenever possible, resulting in high risk of developing gallstones disease-related morbidity. An alarming decrease of laparoscopic cholecystectomies was recorded, unless emergency situations were encountered.
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly decreased the surgical management of different diseases, such as gallstone disease, resulting in a huge number of untreated patients who could develop severe morbidity. Day surgery and ambulatorial procedures could provide effective solutions to face the current emergency situation, as well as specific dedicated COVID-19-free pathways for patients affected by benign surgical diseases.
Published Date: 2020-09-22; Received Date: 2020-09-01