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Minerva Surgery 2021 Oct 25

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5691.21.09100-0

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Telemedicine in surgery during COVID-19 pandemic: are we doing enough?

Alberto SARTORI 1, Andrea BALLA 2, Ferdinando AGRESTA 3, Mario GUERRIERI 4, Monica ORTENZI 4

1 Department of General Surgery, Hospital of Montebelluna, Montebelluna, Treviso, Italy; 2 Unit of General Surgery, San Paolo Hospital, Civitavecchia, Rome, Italy; 3 Department of General Surgery, AULSS2 Trevigiana del Veneto, Hospital of Vittorio Veneto, Vittorio Veneto, Treviso, Italy; 4 Department of General and Emergency Surgery, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy


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INTRODUCTION: The aim of this systematic review was to report and to analyze if there is and what is the impact of telemedicine in the surgical practice during COVID-19 pandemic. Many authors have posited that the pandemic urged a high implementation of the telemedicine service even in surgical specialties, however, the impact of this change of the clinical practice has been variably reported and its utilization in general surgery is uncertain.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: All articles from any country written in English, Italian, Spanish, or French, about the use of telemedicine for indication to surgical treatment or for 30-day postoperative follow-up in general surgery during the COVID 19 outbreak, from the March 1, 2020, to December 1, 2020, were included.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Two hundred nine articles were fully analyzed, and 207 further articles were excluded. Finally, 2 articles, both published in October 2020, were included in the present systematic review.
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has forced to review the traditional methods to deliver surgical assistance and urged surgeons to find alternative methods to continue their practice. The literature about this topic is yet scarce and many questions regarding its efficacy in improving patients’ health, cost-effectiveness and user satisfaction remain unsolved.


KEY WORDS: Telemedicine; General surgery; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Pandemics

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