Urgent and elective proctologic/anorectal interventions in the COVID-19 pandemic: A practical guideline for treatment safety

Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2021 Mar;27(2):180-186. doi: 10.14744/tjtes.2020.02446.


Background: This article aims to give practical information and concrete suggestions on what should be considered in emergency, semi-urgent and elective settings for common anorectal diseases in the hectic period of the COVID-19 pandemic, based on early results of a series of anorectal interventions.

Methods: Referring to other related guidelines, general considerations specific to the diagnosis and treatment of highly prevalent anorectal diseases were developed to target the correct patients, evaluate and orientate by telemedicine, adapt the Proctology Unit to the new pandemic, and control contamination and infection. Specific considerations for common anorectal diseases were cited, and our initial results were retrospectively documented.

Results: From March 1 to April 10, 2020, we contacted 240 patients with anorectal diseases in two centers. We evaluated the results retrospectively on 16-17 April. At the end of this survey, 14 patients (5.8%) were lost for further contact and follow-up. Thirty-one patients (12.9%) were evaluated as nondeferrable cases and invited to the Proctology Unit. Twenty-eight patients required interventions at the same session. Adhering to the principles described here, more than 90 percent of benign anorectal disorders could be treated successfully, with 2.1 percent of suspected contamination and no confirmed cases. None of the Proctology personnel or their close contacts developed COVID-19, either.

Conclusion: By adhering to the principles outlined in this practical guide, it was possible to treat most of the benign anorectal diseases safely in the initial, hectic period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Colorectal Surgery*
  • Elective Surgical Procedures / statistics & numerical data
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Guideline Adherence*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pandemics*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Spain