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08.05.2020 | COVID-19 | Brief Communication Open Access

Cardiothoracic robotic assisted surgery in times of COVID-19

Journal of Robotic Surgery
Jef Van den Eynde, Senne De Groote, Robin Van Lerberghe, Raf Van den Eynde, Wouter Oosterlinck
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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic poses an immense threat to healthcare systems worldwide. At a time when elective surgeries are being suspended and questions are being raised about how the remaining procedures on COVID-19 positive patients can be performed safely, it is important to consider the potential role of robotic assisted surgery within the current pandemic. Recently, several robotic assisted surgery societies have issued their recommendations. To date, however, no specific recommendations are available for cardiothoracic robotic assisted surgery in COVID-19 positive patients. Here, we discuss the potential risks, benefits, and preventive measures that need to be taken into account when considering robotic assisted surgery for cardiothoracic indications in patients with confirmed COVID-19. It is suggested that robotic assisted surgery might have various advantages such as early recovery after surgery, shorter hospital stay, and reduced loss of blood and fluids as well as smaller incisions. However, electrosurgical and ultrasonic devices, as well as CO2 insufflation should be managed with caution to prevent the risk of aerosolization of viral particles.

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