Assessing the Burden of Nondeferrable Major Uro-oncologic Surgery to Guide Prioritisation Strategies During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Insights from Three Italian High-volume Referral Centres.

The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to an unprecedented emergency scenario for all aspects of health care, including urology. At the time of writing, Italy was the country with the highest rates of both infection and mortality.

A panel of experts recently released recommendations for prioritising urologic surgeries in a low-resource setting. Of note, major cancer surgery represents a compelling challenge. However, the burden of these procedures and the impact of such recommendations on urologic practice are currently unknown. To fill this gap, we assessed the yearly proportion of high-priority major uro-oncologic surgeries at three Italian high-volume academic centres. Of 2387 major cancer surgeries, 32.3% were classified as high priority (12.6% of radical nephroureterectomy, 17.3% of nephrectomy, 33.9% of radical prostatectomy, and 36.2% of radical cystectomy cases). Moreover, 26.4% of high-priority major cancer surgeries were performed in patients at higher perioperative risk (American Society of Anesthesiologists score ≥3), with radical cystectomy contributing the most to this cohort (50%). Our real-life data contextualise ongoing recommendations on prioritisation strategies during the current COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the need for better patient selection for surgery. We found that approximately two-thirds of elective major uro-oncologic surgeries can be safely postponed or changed to another treatment modality when the availability of health care resources is reduced. PATIENT SUMMARY: We used data from three high-volume Italian academic urology centres to evaluate how many surgeries performed for prostate, bladder, kidney, and upper tract urothelial cancer can be postponed in times of emergency. We found that approximately two-thirds of patients with these cancers do not require high-priority surgery. Conversely, of patients requiring high-priority surgery, approximately one in four is considered at high perioperative risk. These patients may pose challenges in allocation of resources in critical scenarios such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.

European urology. 2020 Apr 11 [Epub ahead of print]

Riccardo Campi, Daniele Amparore, Umberto Capitanio, Enrico Checcucci, Andrea Salonia, Cristian Fiori, Andrea Minervini, Alberto Briganti, Marco Carini, Francesco Montorsi, Sergio Serni, Francesco Porpiglia

Department of Urological Robotic Surgery and Renal Transplantation, Careggi Hospital, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; Department of Urological Oncologic Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery and Andrology, Careggi Hospital, University of Florence, Florence, Italy. Electronic address: ., Division of Urology, Department of Oncology, School of Medicine, San Luigi Hospital, University of Turin, Orbassano, Turin, Italy., Division of Experimental Oncology/Unit of Urology, Urological Research Institute, IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele, Milan, Italy., Division of Experimental Oncology/Unit of Urology, Urological Research Institute, IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele, Milan, Italy; University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy., Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; Department of Urological Oncologic Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery and Andrology, Careggi Hospital, University of Florence, Florence, Italy., Department of Urological Robotic Surgery and Renal Transplantation, Careggi Hospital, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; Department of Urological Oncologic Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery and Andrology, Careggi Hospital, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

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