The impact of COVID-19 on gastric cancer surgery: A single-center retrospective study

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Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. Patients with cancer are more likely to incur poor clinical outcomes. Due to the prevailing pandemic, we propose some surgical strategies for gastric cancer patients. Methods: The 'COVID-19' period was defined as occurring between 2020 and 01-20 and 2020-03-20. The enrolled patients were divided into two groups, pre-COVID-19 group (PCG) and COVID-19 group (CG). A total of 109 patients with gastric cancer were enrolled in this study. Results: The waiting time before admission increased by 4 days in the CG (PCG: 4.5 [IQR: 2, 7.8] vs. CG: 8.0 [IQR: 2,20]; p = 0.006). More patients had performed chest CT scans besides abdominal CT before admission during the COVID-19 period (PCG: 22 [32%] vs. CG: 30 [73%], p = 0.001). After admission during the COVID period, the waiting time before surgery was longer (PCG: 3[IQR: 2,5] vs. CG: 7[IQR: 5,9]; p < 0.001), more laparoscopic surgeries were performed (PCG: 51[75%] vs. CG: 38[92%], p = 0.021), and hospital stay period after surgery was longer (7[IQR: 6,8] vs.9[IQR:7,11]; p < 0.001). In addition, the total cost of hospitalization increased during this period, (PCG: 9.22[IQR:7.82,10.97] vs. CG: 10.42[IQR:8.99,12.57]; p = 0.006). Conclusion: This study provides an opportunity for our surgical colleagues to reflect on their own services and any contingency plans they may have to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.




Li, Y. X., He, C. Z., Liu, Y. C., Zhao, P. Y., Xu, X. L., Wang, Y. F., … Du, X. H. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 on gastric cancer surgery: A single-center retrospective study. BMC Surgery, 20(1).

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