BACKGROUND: Despite the rapid increase in the number of publications pertaining to COVID-19, there is a lack of data examining patient outcomes following elective procedures performed during this pandemic. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this investigation was to examine the postoperative outcomes of patients who underwent elective procedures in an ambulatory surgery center during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to share the preoperative screening and patient selection protocol implemented in our center. METHODS: Elective procedures performed in an ambulatory surgery center between March 1, 2020 and April 16, 2020 were retrospectively reviewed. The primary outcomes were occurrence of COVID-19-related postoperative complications. These complications include pneumonia, stroke, myocardial infarction, and clotting disorders. The predictive variables analyzed in this study were age, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, specialty conducting the procedure, operating time, and the type of plastic and reconstructive surgery procedure being performed. RESULTS: A total of 300 consecutive electives cases were included in the study. The most common procedures were pain management (43.0%), gastrointestinal (26.0%), aesthetic (14.0%), orthopedic (10.3%), reconstructive (4.0%), otorhinolaryngology (2.0%), and gynecology (0.67%). The median age of the cohort was 54.6 years (range, 1-90 years) and the median procedure time was 47 minutes (range, 11-304 minutes). COVID-19-related symptoms or complications following the procedures were not observed in any of the patients or in the healthcare care personnel. CONCLUSIONS: In this cohort of 300 elective cases, we found no patients with COVID-19-related symptoms postoperatively. This suggests that with proper preoperative screening and patient selection, elective procedures can be safely performed in an ambulatory surgery center during this pandemic.
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