The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on breast surgery in Italy: a multi-centric retrospective observational study

Updates Surg. 2023 Mar 6:1-7. doi: 10.1007/s13304-023-01474-y. Online ahead of print.


COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on surgical activities. The aim of this multi-centric, retrospective study was to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on breast surgery. The patients who operated during the pre-pandemic year 2019 were compared to those operated in 2020. Fourteen Breast Care Units provided data on breast surgical procedures performed in 2020 and 2019: total number of breast-conserving surgery (BCS), number of 1st level oncoplastic breast surgery (OBS), number of 2nd level OBS; total number of mastectomies, mastectomies without reconstruction, mastectomies with a tissue expander, mastectomies with direct to implant (DTI) reconstruction, mastectomies with immediate flap reconstruction; total number of delayed reconstructions, number of expanders to implant reconstructions, number of delayed flap reconstructions. Overall 20.684 patients were included: 10.850 (52.5%) operated during 2019, and 9.834 (47.5%) during 2020. The overall number of breast oncologic surgical procedures in all centers in 2020 was 8.509, compared to 9.383 in 2019 (- 9%). BCS decreased by 744 cases (- 13%), the overall number of mastectomies decreased by 130 cases (- 3.5%); mastectomy-BCS ratio was 39-61% in 2019, and 42-58% in 2020. Regarding immediate reconstructive procedures mastectomies with DTI reconstruction increased by 166 cases (+ 15%) and mastectomies with immediate expander reconstruction decreased by 297 cases (- 20%). Breast-delayed reconstructive procedures in all centers in 2020 were 142 less than in 2019 (- 10%). The outburst of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 determined an implemented number of mastectomies compared to BCS, an implemented number of immediate breast reconstructions, mainly DTI, and a reduction of expander reconstruction.

PMID:36877431 | PMC:PMC9987352 | DOI:10.1007/s13304-023-01474-y


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