Timing of elective surgery and risk assessment after SARS-CoV-2 infection: an update: A multidisciplinary consensus statement on behalf of the Association of Anaesthetists, Centre for Perioperative Care, Federation of Surgical Specialty Associations, Royal College of Anaesthetists, Royal College of Surgeons of England.

The aim of this article is to provide an update to the timing of elective surgery post SARS-CoV-2 infection taking into account the effect of vaccination and new variants. The current UK recommendation as per the authors is to delay surgery for 7 weeks post infection to minimise perioperative risk, “unless the benefits of doing so exceed the risk of waiting”. This paper provides a multidisciplinary consensus statement that recommends an individualised risk assessment if a patient is requiring elective surgery within 7 weeks of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The statement does not specify what patient population (adults and/or paediatric patients).

The authors present a 3-step tool based on the following;

  • Patient’s baseline risk of surgery
  • Additional risk factors of surgery
  • Risks of deferring surgery

Confirming and optimising vaccination status is also emphasised with three doses administered, with the last dose at least two weeks prior to scheduled surgery. The authors conclude that decisions regarding timing of surgery post SARS-CoV-2 infection should be multidisciplinary in nature with close attention to assessment of patient’s baseline and risk, optimising vaccination as well as functional status.

Reviewed by Dr Renee Burton