Urological surgery during SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Descriptive analysis of the experience in a Urology Department across the pandemic phases

Actas Urol Esp (Engl Ed). 2020 Dec;44(10):665-673. doi: 10.1016/j.acuro.2020.09.007. Epub 2020 Sep 29.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Introduction: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has changed the urological practice around the world. Our objective is to describe the outcomes presented by patients undergoing surgery in the urology department of a tertiary hospital, across the pandemic phases.

Methods: Observational, cohort study including all patients undergoing surgery from March 1 to May 14. According to the hospital organization, we identified three periods: there were no changes during the first two weeks (1st. period), the following seven weeks, when only urgent interventions were carried out after performance of nasopharyngeal swab test (2nd. period), and finally, elective surgery was resumed on May 4, after the implementation of a multidisciplinary screening protocol (3rd. period). Demographic, baseline, surgical and perioperative variables, as well as postoperative outcomes, were obtained in a retrospective (periods 1 and 2) and prospective (period 3) manner. Telephone follow-up was initiated at least 3 weeks after hospital discharge.

Results: 103 urological surgeries were performed, and 11 patients were diagnosed with COVID-19, 8 of them within the 1st.

Period: The diagnosis was already known in 1 patient, while the other 10 developed the disease in an average of 25 days after the intervention and 16,6 days after discharge. Of seven transplant patients, four got the infection. Three deaths were recorded due to the disease: a 69-year-old woman transplanted and two men over 80 with comorbidities and high anesthetic risk who underwent drainage of retroperitoneal abscess and retrograde intrarenal surgery, respectively.

Conclusions: SARS-CoV-2 infection mainly affected renal transplant recipients or elderly patients with high anesthetic risk, during the first 2 weeks of the pandemic. After implementing preoperative PCR tests and a comprehensive screening protocol, cases were substantially reduced, and safe surgical procedures were achieved.

Keywords: COVID-19; Cirugía; Infección postoperatoria; Kidney transplantation; Postoperative infection; Protocolo de cribado; SARS-CoV-2; Screening protocol; Surgery; Trasplante renal.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / mortality
  • Cohort Studies
  • Elective Surgical Procedures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Symptom Assessment
  • Tertiary Care Centers
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Urology Department, Hospital / statistics & numerical data