Background and Aims Guidelines about how to perform regional anaesthesia during the COVID-19 pandemic were published(1,2). It was also mentioned that if the surgery is appropriate, regional anesthesia could be applied mainly(3). We analyzed our approach to regional anaesthesia in lower abdominal and perianal surgery before and during the pandemic.
Methods We screened patients retrospectively who had elective or emergent/urgent lower abdominal surgery (inguinal hernia repair without resection) and perianal surgery (abscess, fistula, and hemorrhoidectomy) in March-December 2020 during the pandemic and from March to December 2019 before pandemic. Demographic data, ASA class, type of surgery and anaesthesia, intraoperative complications, ICU need, ICU and hospital length of stay, and postoperative complications, especially pulmonary were recorded.
Results 225 patients operated in 2019 (pre-pandemic) and 158 patients in 2020 (pandemic) were analyzed(Table 1). Spinal anaesthesia was performed more in 2020 than 2019 (39(17,3%) vs 74(46,8%) respectively ,p<0.001). Pulmonary and any complications were observed more in the pandemic (p=0.005 and p=0.001,respectively). Patients operated in 2020 were also analyzed according to the type of anaesthesia (Table2). There was no intraoperative complication in patients had spinal anaesthesia. Any postoperative complication was seen in 16(19,0%) patients with general anaesthesia and 6(8,1%) patients with spinal (p=0.047). Postoperative pulmonary complications were lower in patients had spinal anaesthesia than general anaesthesia, although being statistically insignificant (2(2,7%) vs 8(9,5%) respectively, p=0.105).
Conclusions We noticed an increase in performing regional anaesthesia after the pandemic in our institute. Although we observed more complications in the pandemic than in 2019; postoperative complications,including pulmonary were lower in patients had regional anaesthesia.
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