Robot assisted surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for gynecological cancer: a statement of the Society of European Robotic Gynaecological Surgery (SERGS)

Rainer Kimmig, Rene H M Verheijen, Martin Rudnicki
Journal of Gynecologic Oncology 2020 April 3
All surgery performed in an epicenter of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, irrespective of the known or suspected severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) status of the patient, should be regarded as high risk and protection of the surgical team at the bedside should be at the highest level. Robot assisted surgery (RAS) may help to reduce hospital stay for patients that urgently need complex-oncological-surgery, thus making room for COVID-19 patients. In comparison to open or conventional laparoscopic surgery, RAS potentially reduces not only contamination with body fluids and surgical gasses of the surgical area but also the number of directly exposed medical staff. A prerequisite is that general surgical precautions under COVID-19 circumstances must be taken, with the addition of prevention of gas leakage: • Use highest protection level III for bedside assistant, but level II for console surgeon. • Reduce the number of staff at the operation room. • Ensure safe and effective gas evacuation. • Reduce the intra-abdominal pressure to 8 mmHg or below. • Minimize electrocautery power and avoid use of ultrasonic sealing devices. • Surgeons should avoid contact outside theater (both in and out of the hospital).

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