BJS commission on surgery and perioperative care post-COVID-19

Br J Surg. 2021 Oct 23;108(10):1162-1180. doi: 10.1093/bjs/znab307.


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic by the WHO on 11 March 2020 and global surgical practice was compromised. This Commission aimed to document and reflect on the changes seen in the surgical environment during the pandemic, by reviewing colleagues' experiences and published evidence.

Methods: In late 2020, BJS contacted colleagues across the global surgical community and asked them to describe how severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) had affected their practice. In addition to this, the Commission undertook a literature review on the impact of COVID-19 on surgery and perioperative care. A thematic analysis was performed to identify the issues most frequently encountered by the correspondents, as well as the solutions and ideas suggested to address them.

Results: BJS received communications for this Commission from leading clinicians and academics across a variety of surgical specialties in every inhabited continent. The responses from all over the world provided insights into multiple facets of surgical practice from a governmental level to individual clinical practice and training.

Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic has uncovered a variety of problems in healthcare systems, including negative impacts on surgical practice. Global surgical multidisciplinary teams are working collaboratively to address research questions about the future of surgery in the post-COVID-19 era. The COVID-19 pandemic is severely damaging surgical training. The establishment of a multidisciplinary ethics committee should be encouraged at all surgical oncology centres. Innovative leadership and collaboration is vital in the post-COVID-19 era.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomedical Research / organization & administration
  • COVID-19 / diagnosis
  • COVID-19 / economics
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / trends
  • Female
  • Global Health
  • Health Resources / supply & distribution
  • Health Services Accessibility / trends
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / economics
  • Infection Control / methods
  • Infection Control / standards
  • International Cooperation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Perioperative Care / education
  • Perioperative Care / methods
  • Perioperative Care / standards
  • Perioperative Care / trends*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / standards
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / trends*
  • Surgeons / education
  • Surgeons / psychology
  • Surgeons / trends
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / education
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / methods
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / standards
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / trends*