Surgical Implications of COVID-19

Ishan M De Zoysa, Suranjith L. Seneviratne, Visula Abeysuriya


At present, the world is in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic. However, the incidence of surgically treated disorders remains the same. In many countries resources, which were otherwise available to surgical patients, have been allocated to COVID-19 patients. Therefore, surgical resources need to be prioritized for the most-needy surgical patients. Surgical and obstetric emergencies need to be attended to without delay. Urgent operations also need to be performed to save life or limb. Semi-elective operations including oncological surgeries need to be performed within 4 weeks, whilst many elective surgeries can be safely delayed. Regional anaesthesia is preferable to general anaesthesia during the epidemic as it carries a lower risk of disease transmission. Strict infection control measures should be adopted in the operating theatre. Although there were initial concerns about the safety of minimal access surgery, recent evidence indicates that it is safe during this epidemic. Lung transplantation has been preformed successfully in a few patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia but there is insufficient evidence to justify its more widespread use. Most pregnant COVID-19 women who delivered, did so successfully by caesarian section under spinal anaesthesia. Surgical care during this epidemic has to be customized to suit the individual setting.


SARS-Cov-2; Covid-19; Surgery; pregnancy

Full Text:



Suranjith L Seneviratne, Visula Abeysuriya, Sanjay de Mel, Ishan De Zoysa, Roshan Niloofa. Favipiravir in COVID-19. International Journal of Progressive Sciences and Technologies 2020; 19: 143 – 145.

Roshan Niloofa, Suranjith L Seneviratne, Akila Cooray, Nilanthi P Senanayake, Ishan De Zoysa. Molecular Diagnosis of COVID-19. International Journal of Progressive Sciences and Technologies 2020; 20: 33-36.

Suranjith L Seneviratne, Roshan Niloofa, Ishan De Zoysa, Sanjay de Mel, Visula Abeysuriya. Remdesivir and COVID-19. Int. J. Adv. Res. 8(04), 565-567

NHS England clinical guide for the management of cancer patients during the coronavirus pandemic ( Accessed July 12, 2020.

Gordon L Carlson. Prioritizing Access to Surgical Care During the Coronavirus Pandemic. Diseases of the Colon & Rectum 2020; 63: 879-880.

JJ Tuech, A Gangloff, F Di Fiore, C Brigand, P Michel, M Pocard, L Schwarz L. Strategy for the Practice of Digestive surgery and Surgical Oncology in COVID-19 Outbreak Situation. J Visc Surg. 2020; 157(3): 7–12.

N Rajan, GP Joshi. The COVID-19: Role of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities in This Global Pandemic. Anesth Analg. 2020, Published online 2020 Apr 1.

G Iacobucci. Covid-19: all non-urgent elective surgery is suspended for at least three months in England The BMJ 2020;368:m1106 doi: 10.1136/bmj.m1106 (Published 18 March 2020)

CDC. How Coronavirus Spreads. Available at: Accessed July 12, 2020.

ASA. COVID-19 FAQs. Available at: committees/asa-committees/committee-on-occupational-health/coronavirus/clinical-faqs Accessed July 12,2020.

F Dexter, MC Parra, JR Brown, RW Loftus. Perioperative COVID-19 Defense: An Evidence-Based Approach for Optimization of Infection Control and Operating Room Management. Anesth Analg. 2020;131(1):37-42.

SN Morris, AN Fader, MP Milad, HJ Dionisi. Understanding the "Scope" of the Problem: Why Laparoscopy is Considered Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic. J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2020; 27(4): 789–791.

Update: Impact of 2019 Novel Coronavirus and Blood Safety Coronavirus-on-Blood-Donation.pdf

JY Chen, K Qiao, F Liu, B Wu, X Xu, GQ Jiao et al. Lung transplantation as therapeutic option in acute respiratory distress syndrome for COVID-19-related pulmonary fibrosis. Chinese Medical Journal, 2020, 133(12):1390-1396.

[ Sonja A. Rasmussen, John C Smulian, John A Lednicky, Tony S Wen, Denise J Jamieson. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and pregnancy: what obstetricians need to know. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2020; 222(5): 415–426.

Qi Zhong, Yin Y Liu, Qiong Luo, Feng Zheng, Jian J Ke, Zong Z Zhang et al. Spinal anaesthesia for patients with coronavirus disease 2019 and possible transmission rates in anaesthetists: retrospective, single-centre, observational cohort study. British Journal of Anaesthesia 2020; 124:670-675



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Ishan M De Zoysa, Suranjith L. Seneviratne, Visula Abeysuriya

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.