Shorter Wait Between COVID-19 and Elective Surgery Possible

July 27, 2022 Tags:

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, patients, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and hospital administrators have had to put off elective surgeries because of a positive COVID-19 test. The current guidelines recommend avoiding elective surgery until seven weeks after a COVID-19 illness, even if a patient has an asymptomatic infection. Plastic Surgery Practice has now reported that a Kaiser Permanente study published on July 15th in Annals of Surgery, found no greater risk of post-surgery complications for patients in the weeks and months after a COVID-19 illness than in surgery patients who didn’t have a history of COVID-19.

This is good news for those involved in the surgery process and indicates that the medical field is moving forward in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic back to some predictability instead of ever-changing schedules.

“As the pandemic continues, there is concern that delaying surgeries could cause more harm than benefit to some patients,” said lead author Sidney Le, MD, former clinical informatics and delivery science research fellow with the Kaiser Permanente division of research and surgeon with the department of surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. “If we are able to identify certain patients who can proceed with surgery despite a recent coronavirus infection, that would be a big relief to health systems and their patients.”

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