Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on hernia surgery in a Swedish healthcare region: a population-based cohort study.

Kollatos C, Hanna S, Sandblom G

BMC Surg 22 (1) 260 [2022-07-05; online 2022-07-05]

Swedish healthcare has been reorganised during the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting the availability of surgery for benign conditions. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of COVID-19 on emergency and elective hernia surgery in a Swedish healthcare region. Using procedure codes, data from inguinal and ventral hernia procedures performed at the three hospitals in Jönköping Region, Sweden, from March 1st 2019 to January 31st 2021, were retrieved from a medical database. The cohort was divided into two groups: the COVID-19 group (March 1st 2020-January 31st 2021) and the control group (March 1st 2019-January 31st 2020). Demographic and preoperative data, hernia type, perioperative findings, and type of surgery were analysed. A total 1329 patients underwent hernia surgery during the study period; 579 were operated during the COVID-19 period and 750 during the control period. The number of emergency ventral hernia repairs increased during the COVID-19 period, but no difference in inguinal hernia repair rate was seen. The characteristics of patients that underwent hernia repair were similar in the two groups. Moreover, the decrease in elective ventral hernia repair rate during the COVID-19 period did not result in a higher risk for strangulation. There is no evidence to suggest that the decrease in the number of elective ventral hernia repairs during the COVID-19 period had any impact on the risk for strangulation. Indications for surgery in patients with a symptomatic ventral or inguinal hernia should be carefully evaluated. Studies with greater power and longer follow-up are needed to gain a full understanding of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on hernia surgery.

Type: Review

PubMed 35790926

DOI 10.1186/s12893-022-01698-6

Crossref 10.1186/s12893-022-01698-6

pii: 10.1186/s12893-022-01698-6
pmc: PMC9255440

Publications 9.5.0