Timing of surgery following SARS‐CoV‐2 infection: an international prospective cohort study

Keeping surgery on hold for at least 7 weeks after a positive coronavirus test was associated with lower mortality risk compared with no delay, a large international study found.

Among 3,127 patients with a preoperative SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis, mortality was highest in those who had surgery the soonest after testing positive, Dmitri Nepogodiev, MBChB, of the University of Birmingham, England, and colleagues reported in Anaesthesia.

The 30-day postoperative mortality rates were:

  • 9.1% for surgery within 2 weeks of diagnosis (104 of 1,138)
  • 6.9% for surgery 3–4 weeks after testing positive (32 of 461)
  • 5.5% for surgery 5–6 weeks after diagnosis (18 of 326)
  • 2.0% for surgery 7 or more weeks post-diagnosis (24 of 1,202)

When compared with the adjusted 30-day mortality of 1.5% for surgery without SARS-CoV-2 infection, only the group with at least a 7-week interval between diagnosis and surgery didn’t have significantly elevated risk of death at 30 days.


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