The effect of Covid-19 pandemic on gastric cancer surgery
Keywords:Gastric cancer, Surgery, COVID-19
Background/Aim: The global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to difficulties in the prevention of other diseases and especially in the maintenance of cancer treatment, along with the attempts to control the pandemic. The present study aims to investigate the clinical, oncological, and financial effects of COVID-19 on patients undergoing radical gastric cancer surgery. Methods: This retrospective cohort study included 46 patients and the clinical, epidemiological, radiological, and laboratory data of these patients were analyzed. Inclusion criteria were patients who were diagnosed with gastric cancer, who underwent radical surgical resection in pre-COVID-19 and during COVID-19 periods. Appropriate surgical options were used by taking precautions against viral transmission. Results: Of the study patients, 56.5% were males, the median age was 69 (42–83) years, and the median length of stay was 9 (7–34) days. The rate of thoracic computed tomography (CT) taken was statistically significantly higher in during-COVID-19 period (P=0.008). The length of the surgery was statistically significantly longer and the estimated blood loss (cc) was lower in during-COVID-19 period (P<0.001, P=0.043, respectively). From a financial point of view, the cost was statistically significantly higher during-COVID-19 period (P=0.038). Conclusion: The use of thoracic CT in the surgical management of gastric cancer patients was increased, the surgery was prolonged, and the estimated blood loss was reduced along with the pandemic. In addition, the cost of patient treatment increased due to increasing amount of the routine examination and surgical materials used.
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