Safety of Esophageal Cancer Surgery During the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Europe: A Multicenter Study.

Borgstein ABJ, Brunner S, Hayami M, Moons J, Fuchs H, Eshuis WJ, Gisbertz SS, Bruns CJ, Nafteux P, Nilsson M, Schröder W, van Berge Henegouwen MI

Ann Surg Oncol - (-) - [2021-04-08; online 2021-04-08]

Many hospitals postponed elective surgical care during the first wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Some centers continued elective surgery, including esophageal cancer surgery, with the use of preoperative screening methods; however, there is no evidence supporting the safety of this strategy as postoperative outcomes after esophageal cancer surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic have not yet been investigated. This multicenter study in four European tertiary esophageal cancer referral centers included consecutive adult patients undergoing elective esophageal cancer surgery from a prospectively maintained database in a COVID-19 pandemic cohort (1 March 2020-31 May 2020) and a control cohort (1 October 2019-29 February 2020). The primary outcome was the rate of respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation. The COVID-19 cohort consisted of 139 patients, versus 168 patients in the control cohort. There was no difference in the rate of respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation (13.7% vs. 8.3%, p = 0.127) and number of pulmonary complications (32.4% vs. 29.9%, p = 0.646) between the COVID-19 cohort and the control cohort. Overall, postoperative morbidity and mortality rates were comparable between both cohorts. History taking and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were used as preoperative screening methods to detect a possible severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in all centers. No patients were diagnosed with COVID-19 pre- or postoperatively. Esophageal cancer surgery during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic was not associated with an increase in pulmonary complications as no patients were diagnosed with COVID-19. Esophageal cancer surgery can be performed safely with the use of adequate preoperative SARS-CoV-2 screening methods.

Category: Health

Type: Journal article

PubMed 33830357

DOI 10.1245/s10434-021-09886-z

Crossref 10.1245/s10434-021-09886-z

pii: 10.1245/s10434-021-09886-z

Publications 9.5.0