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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 69  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21--25

Is Elective Neurosurgery Justified During COVID-19 Pandemic?

1 Department of Neurosurgery, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Neurosurgery, SCTIMST, Trivandrum, Kerala, India
3 Department of Neurosurgery, Manipal Hospitals, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Arivazhagan Arimappamagan
Department of Neurosurgery, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Hosur Road, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.310113

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Background: As the world faces a new viral pandemic, which has spread very rapidly, initial response from most countries was to suspend nonemergent health services so that available resources can be diverted to handle the large numbers of patients with COVID-19 infection. Many societies issued guidelines to suspend or postpone nonemergent surgeries. Methods: We reviewed the emerging evidence regarding the impact of COVID-19 infection in neurosurgery and the postponement of elective surgeries. Results and Observations: COVID-19 infection poses serious threat in hospitals in the form of cross-infection, hospital staff falling sick, with potential risk to overwhelm or paralyze the healthcare. In addition, we have come to realize the significant perioperative morbidity and mortality secondary to active COVID-19 infection. All these strongly favor suspension of elective neurosurgical services. However, these have to be weighed against the fallout due to prolonged postponement of neurosurgical treatment for conditions, which can progress and cause neurological deterioration. Conclusion: This article discusses the contemporary published literature regarding the perioperative risk of COVID-19 infection, impact of postponed surgeries, challenges, risk assessment and guidelines for elective neurosurgery at this point of time.


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