Surgical oncology operative experience at a high-volume safety-net hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic

Joshua P. Kronenfeld, Amber L. Collier, Seraphina Choi, Dayana Perez-Sanchez, Ankit M. Shah, Christina Lee, Neha Goel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic led to disruptions in operative and hospital capabilities as the country triaged resources and canceled elective procedures. This study details the operative experience of a safety-net hospital for cancer-related operations during a 3-month period at the height of the pandemic. Methods: Patients operated on for or diagnosed with malignancies of the abdomen, breast, skin, or soft-tissue (September 3, 2020–September 6, 2020) were identified from operative/clinic schedules. Sociodemographics, tumor and treatment characteristics, and COVID-19 information was identified through retrospective chart review of a prospectively maintained database. Descriptive statistics were calculated. Results: Fifty patients evaluated within this window underwent oncologic surgery. Median age was 61 (interquartile range: 53–68), 56% were female, 86% were White, and 66% were Hispanic. The majority (28%) were for colon cancer. Only two patients tested positive for COVID-19 preoperatively or within 30 days of their operation. There were no mortalities during the 1-year study period. Conclusion: During the COVID-19 pandemic, many hospitals and operative centers limited interventions to preserve resources, but oncologic procedures continued at many large-volume academic cancer centers. This study underscores the importance of continuing to offer surgery during the pandemic for surgical oncology cases at safety-net hospitals to minimize delays in time-sensitive oncologic treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)983-988
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of surgical oncology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • clinical outcomes
  • coronavirus
  • surgical oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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