Published online Aug 27, 2021. doi: 10.4240/wjgs.v13.i8.788
Peer-review started: February 7, 2021
First decision: March 16, 2021
Revised: March 30, 2021
Accepted: June 16, 2021
Article in press: June 16, 2021
Published online: August 27, 2021
Core Tip: The clinical outcomes of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients undergoing urgent or emergent surgeries have shown that the estimated duration of hospitalization is 10.55 d, with 15% admission in the intensive care unit and up to 15% in the postoperative period. Several complications are described in patients with COVID-19 who underwent surgical procedures, including acute respiratory distress syndrome and other pulmonary complications (e.g., pneumonia, shortness of breath, dyspnea, fever, cough). These complications lead to respiratory and cardiovascular system failure (i.e. heart attack, arrhythmia, and infarction), secondary infection, fatigue or myalgia, severe lymphopenia, sepsis/shock, acute kidney injury, etc. Pulmonary complications are considered the primary cause for the low survival rate and prolonged immobility in surgical COVID-19 patients. Lung involvement is also associated with high postoperative mortality, contributing to a 30-d mortality rate of 38%. Furthermore, cancer patients are more likely to contract COVID-19 than non-cancer patients. Therefore, they are more vulnerable to complications and have a higher mortality rate postoperatively. Thus, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on surgical patients in terms of delays or complications is noteworthy, and is expected to continue after the end of the pandemic.