OBJECTIVE:The aim of this study was to clarify the role of pancreatic surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic to optimize patients' and clinicians' safety and safeguard health care capacity. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA:The COVID-19 pandemic heavily impacts health care systems worldwide. Cancer patients appear to have an increased risk for adverse events when infected by COVID-19, but the inability to receive oncological care seems may be an even larger threat, particularly in case of pancreatic cancer. METHODS:An online survey was submitted to all members of seven international pancreatic associations and study groups, investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on pancreatic surgery using 21 statements (April, 2020). Consensus was defined as >80% agreement among respondents and moderate agreement as 60% to 80% agreement. RESULTS:A total of 337 respondents from 267 centers and 37 countries spanning 5 continents completed the survey. Most respondents were surgeons (n = 302, 89.6%) and working in an academic center (n = 286, 84.9%). The majority of centers (n = 166, 62.2%) performed less pancreatic surgery because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing the weekly pancreatic resection rate from 3 [interquartile range (IQR) 2-5] to 1 (IQR 0-2) (P < 0.001). Most centers screened for COVID-19 before pancreatic surgery (n = 233, 87.3%). Consensus was reached on 13 statements and 5 statements achieved moderate agreement. CONCLUSIONS:This global survey elucidates the role of pancreatic surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic, regarding patient selection for the surgical and oncological treatment of pancreatic diseases to support clinical decision-making and creating a starting point for further discussion.
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School of Medicine