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Minerva Surgery 2022 April;77(2):171-9

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5691.21.09166-8


language: English

COVID-19 pandemic: is it time for shared surgical guidelines? A systematic review of the literature

Monica ORTENZI 1 , Andrea BALLA 2, Emanuele BOTTERI 3, Pasquale LEPIANE 2, Mario GUERRIERI 4, Alberto AREZZO 5, Alberto SARTORI 6

1 Department of General and Emergency Surgery, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy; 2 General Surgery Unit, San Paolo Hospital, Civitavecchia, Rome, Italy; 3 General Surgery Unit, ASST Spedali Civili, Montichiari Hospital, Montichiari, Brescia, Italy; 4 Department of General and Emergency Surgery, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy; 5 Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Turin, Turin, Italy; 6 Department of General Surgery, Montebelluna Hospital, Montebelluna, Treviso, Italy

INTRODUCTION: The recent COrona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused a massive disruption of surgical activity and after a year from its first outbreak surgeons still struggle to keep their regular activity coexisting with the virus exhausting requests of healthcare resources. The aim of this paper is to offer a comprehensive overview of the most important recommendations by the International Guidelines about general surgery, and possibly to invite building common shared guidelines to preserve the potential to provide surgical assistance despite the pandemic.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: This systematic review was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis statement. PubMed, Embase, Cochrane and Web of Science databases were searched.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: The searches revealed a total of 18579 articles published up to the end of February 2021. Five articles published between March and May 2020, were included in the present study: Guidelines from The European Society of Trauma and Emergency Surgery (ESTES), The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) and The European Association for Endoscopic Surgeons (EAES), The Endoscopic and Laparoscopic Surgeons of Asia (ELSA), The European Hernia Society (EHS) and The International Organization for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IOS-IBD).
CONCLUSIONS: In the likely scenario that the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic will become an endemic chronic problem, we should not be forced to choose between COVID-19 or surgery in the future and find a way to make both coexisting.

KEY WORDS: Coronavirus; SARS virus; Guidelines; General surgery; Systematic review

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