Timing of Surgery in Iraqi Patients with COVID-19 Infection

Ghadhfan Abdulmajeed Saeed,

Published on: 2021-08-30


Patients with perioperative COVID-19 infection are at high risk of death and complications postoperatively. Now a days, COVID-19 infection in Iraq accounted 1,696,390 cases with 19,087 deaths. A national, single, and observational study that included patients with COVID-19 infection undergoing any type of surgery in Abu-Graib General Hospital, Baghdad Iraq during period from 19 March 2020 to 30 April 2021. Time from the diagnosis of COVID-19 infection to day of surgery was collected as a categorical factor divided into: (a) 0-3 weeks; (b) 4-6 weeks; (c) >6 weeks. Age; sex; American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical status; cardiac comorbidities; respiratory comorbidities; indication for surgery; surgery grade; and surgical types were documented. A total of 378 patient were included with mean age was 47.89±16.03 years. Females were more than males (65.87% > 34.13%). Approximately, 76.72% of patients belonged within ASA I-II, whereas 23.28% were ASA III-IV. About 19.05% of patients suffered from cardiac comorbidities. 266/378 of patients complained from respiratory comorbidities. Surgery indicated in 35.45% benign conditions, 27.5% obstetrics, 7.65% oncological surgery, and 29.4% traumatic operations. Major operations documented in 205/378 patients. Emergencies surgical intervention done in (176, 46.56%), whereas elective cases were 202/378 (53.44%). In total at operation timing, 80(21.16%) patients had a preoperative COVID-19 diagnosis. The time from COVID-19 diagnosis to surgery was 0–3 weeks in 98 patients (25.93%), 4-6 weeks in 115 patients (30.42%), and >6 weeks in 165 patients (43.65%). The overall postoperative mortality rate was 9.52% (36/378). In regard to PO cardiac complication, there was no significant association in relation to timing before surgery (p=0.08). However, the overall cardiac complication was 16.4%. Overall, 44.97% (170/378) of patients developed a PO pulmonary complication within period of follow-up. To our knowledge this is the first study to provide strong data regarding the optimal timing for surgery following COVID-19 infection in Iraq. The optimal timing of surgery after COVID-19 infection was more than 6 wks. We found that risks of PO morbidity and mortality are greatest if patients are operated within 6 weeks of diagnosis of COVID-19 infection.

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