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Safety of uro-oncology practice and robot-assisted surgery during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic: A report from India

1 Departments of Uro-Oncology, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and Medical Research Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Departments of Anaesthesia, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and Medical Research Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
TB Yuvaraja,
Department of Uro-Oncology, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Rao Saheb, Achutrao Patwardhan Marg, Four Bungalows, Andheri West, Mumbai - 400 053, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrt.JCRT_1006_20

Aim: The pandemic by novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is the biggest threat to global health care. Routine care of cancer patients is affected the most. Our institute, situated in Mumbai, declared as the hotspot of COVID-19 in India, continued to cater to the needs of cancer patients. We did an observational study to review the experience of managing uro-oncology patients and who underwent either open, endoscopic, or robot-assisted surgery for urological malignancy. Materials and Methods: During the peak of COVID-19 pandemic from March 21, 2020, to June 21, 2020, all the uro-oncology cases managed in our tertiary care hospital were analyzed. Teleconsultation was started for follow-up patients. All patients requiring surgery underwent reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction for COVID-19. Institutional protocol was formulated based on existing international guidelines for patient management. Adequate personal protection and hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis were provided to health-care professionals. Results: During the study period, 417 outpatient consultations were made. Forty-nine patients underwent surgery for different urological malignancies. Majority of the surgeries were robot-assisted surgeries (59.2%, 29 patients), followed by endoscopic procedures (28.5%, 14 patients) and few open procedures (10.2%, five patients). Most of our patients were elderly males (mean, 62.5 years). With a median follow-up of 55 days (interquartile range, 32–77), there was no report of COVID-19 infection in any patient or health-care provider. Conclusions: We can continue treating needy cancer patients with minimal risk by taking all precautions. Our initial experience of managing uro-oncology cases during this pandemic is encouraging. Robotic surgeries can be safely performed.

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