The COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty regarding the safety and appropriate utilization of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) during this current outbreak. Surgical governing bodies such as Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) and the Royal Colleges of Surgery of Great Britain and Ireland have made statements regarding the possibility of COVID-19 release into CO2 insufflant during MIS. The basis for this concern is prior evidence in the literature of other viral pathogen release during laparoscopic surgery. The recommendations are correctly based on caution given the lack of understanding of how COVID-19 compares to other viruses with regard to transmission and presence in CO2 during MIS. In this review we have investigated the available literature on COVID-19 transmission during MIS, address the implications of current and previously published recommendations and discuss steps to mitigate COVID-19 transmission during MIS for staff and patient safety.
Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; Laparoscopy; Robotics; SARS-COV-2; Urology.
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