Ali F, Sandblom G, Fathalla B, Wallin G
Hernia 27 (5) 1103-1108 [2023-10-00; online 2023-07-07]
The COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the health care delivery in Sweden, including deprioritization of benign surgeries during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on emergency and planned hernia repair in Sweden. Data on hernia repairs from January 2016 to December 2021 were retrieved from the Swedish Patient Register using procedural codes. Two groups were formed: COVID-19 group (January 2020-December 2021) and control group (January 2016-December 2019). Demographic data on mean age, gender, and type of hernia were collected. This study showed a weak negative correlation between the number of elective hernia repairs performed each month during the pandemic and the number of emergency repairs carried out during the following 3 months for inguinal hernia repair (p = 0.114) and incisional hernia repair (p = 0.193), whereas there was no correlation for femoral or umbilical hernia repairs. The COVID-19 pandemic had a great impact on planned hernia surgeries in Sweden, but our hypothesis that postponing planned repairs would increase the risk of emergency events was not supported.