Authors: Adrian Coțovanu1,2, Călin Molnar1,2, Ioana Cosma-Epure2, Cătălin Cosma1,2
1 Emergency County Hospital SCJU Tg.Mureș – First General Surgery Clinic
2 George Emil Palade University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Science, and Technology Târgu Mureș, Romania
Background. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted healthcare systems worldwide, raising concerns about the quality of care for patients with various medical conditions, including gastric cancer. This retrospective study aims to compare the treatment outcomes and complications among patients treated for gastric cancer two years before and two years during the pandemic.
Aims. The objective is to gain insights into the potential impact of the pandemic on the management of gastric cancer.
Methods. An analysis was conducted on a cohort of patients who underwent surgical treatment for gastric cancer. The cohort consisted of patients treated two years before and two years during the pandemic. The medical records of these patients were reviewed to collect data on treatment outcomes, complications, and other relevant parameters. Statistical analysis was performed to compare the outcomes between the two groups.
Results. The pandemic group had a higher incidence of emergency surgery, anastomosis fistulas, and gastric stenosis than the pre-pandemic group. While both groups reported spleen penetration, only the pandemic reported penetrations affecting other organs. The pandemic group had a longer operation time but shorter hospital stays, with a higher mortality rate. The pre-pandemic group had more patients receiving preoperative chemotherapy and more T2-stage cases based on the TNM classification. No significant differences were found in bleeding, wound infection, or evisceration.
Conclusions. The higher rate of complications, particularly anastomosis fistula, and the lower utilization of preoperative chemotherapy during the pandemic highlight healthcare systems’ challenges in providing optimal care during crises. The shorter hospitalization period observed during the pandemic suggests a potential adaptation to minimize patient exposure and optimize hospital resources.
Key words: gastric neoplasm, COVID 19