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Surgical Oncologic Activity Before, During and after Pandemic COVID-19 Period in a French Cancer Center

Author(s): Gilles Houvenaeghe, Julien Barrou, Laura Sabiani, Guillaume Blache, Monique Cohen, Géraldine Pignot, Marie Bannier, Camille Jauffret, Sandrine Rua, Max Buttarelli, Aurore Van Troy, Marion Fa

Aim: During pandemic COVID-19 period it was recommended to postpone all non-emergency surgeries. The objective of this study was to evaluate the reduction of oncological surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic period compared to 2019 and the reduction according to different specialities.

Methods: Surgical activity of “Department of surgical oncology 2” from January 2020 to June 2020 was analysed. Comparisons of surgical activity were performed between each month of 2020 and between each month of 2020 and 2019. Each domain of activity, breast surgery, breast reconstruction, gynecology and urology were analysed. Ambulatory surgery activity and robotic surgery were also analysed.

Results: From January to June 2020, 1835 surgeries were performed in comparison with 2029 surgeries in 2019, with a decrease of 9.56% due to an important decrease during months of April and May. A major decrease was observed for breast surgery (16.47%) and breast reconstruction (33.22%) during pandemic peak. In contrast, gynecologic and urologic activities had not decreased during this 6 months period due to an increase of activity (37.04%) in June 2020. With a 10.3% total urologic activity increase, there was no significant variation. Ambulatory hospitalizations rate was lower in 2020, 38.15% compared to 41.4% in 2019.

Conclusion: The major activity decrease in breast and reconstructive surgery allowed a smaller decrease of others speciality surgeries in this period with some limitations of resources. It will be interesting to evaluate breast cancer surgical activity in the next months in order to determine if a compensatory activity increase will be observed.

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