Outreach and Influence of Surgical Societies' Recommendations on Minimally Invasive Surgery During the COVID-19 Pandemic-An Anonymized International Urologic Expert Inquiry.
Boehm K., Thomas A., Bex A., Black PC., Coburn M., Haferkamp A., Hamdy F., Kaufman RP., Klotz L., Lerner SP., Pushkar D., Ramon J., Rosenzweig B., Tsaur I.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the outreach and influence of the main recommendations of surgical governing bodies on adaptation of minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery (MIS) procedures during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in an anonymized multi-institutional survey. MATERIALS AND METHODS: International experts performing MIS were selected on the basis of the contact database of the speakers of the Friends of Israel Urology Symposium. A 24-item questionnaire was built using main recommendations of surgical societies. Total cases/1 Mio residents as well as absolute number of total cases were utilized as surrogates for the national disease burden. Statistics and plots were performed using RStudio v0.98.953. RESULTS: Sixty-two complete questionnaires from individual centers performing MIS were received. The study demonstrated that most centers were aware of and adapted their MIS management to the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance to surgical bodies' recommendations. Hospitals from the countries with a high disease burden put these adoptions more often into practice than the others particularly regarding swabs as well as CO2 insufflation and specimen extraction procedures. Twelve respondents reported on presumed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 transmission during MIS generating hypothesis for further research. CONCLUSION: Guidelines of surgical governing bodies on adaptation of MIS during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrate significant outreach and implementation, whereas centers from the countries with a high disease burden are more often poised to modify their practice. Rapid publication and distribution of such recommendation is crucial during future epidemic threats.