Objectives While numerous medical facilities have been forced to suspend oncological surgery due to system overload, debate has emerged on using non-surgical options on cancer cases during the pandemic. The goal of our study was to analyze, in a retrospective cohort study, the results of gynecological cancer surgery and evaluate postoperative complications in a single center in one of the most affected areas in Europe.
Methods We retrospectively analyzed the records of patients who were referred between March 2020 and May 2020 for primary surgical treatment of breast, endometrial, ovarian, cervical, or vulvar cancer.
Results The study included a total of 126 patients. Median age was 60 years (range 29–89). Patients were referred with breast (76/126, 60.3%), endometrial (29/126, 23%), ovarian (14/126, 11.1%), cervical (5/126, 4%), or vulvar cancer (2/126, 1.6%). Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) was only conducted in 50% of cases due to the low availability of tests during the first phase of our study, and was indicated only in suspected cases according to the healthcare authorities' protocol. Median hospital stay was 1 day (range 0–18). Excluding breast surgery, laparoscopy was the most used procedure (43/126, 34.1%). 15 patients had a postoperative complication (15/126, 11.9%); only in 2 patients (2/15 13.3%) were there reports of Clavien–Dindo grade 3 or 4 complications. 6 patients tested positive for COVID-19 following a PCR diagnostic test, and these surgeries were cancelled.
Conclusions Adequate protective measures in the setting of COVID-19 free institutions enabled the continuity of cancer surgery without significant compromise of the safety of patients or healthcare workers.
- gynecologic surgical procedures
- surgical oncology
- postoperative complications
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Contributors JdS conducted the study which was planned and reported by the gynecologic, oncology, and anesthesia team (authors listed), who were involved in the surgical procedures.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval The study was reviewed and approved by the medical ethical committee.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request. The data generated by our research is openly and publicly available upon publication of the article.