To evaluate whether Covid-19 vaccination status or mode of anesthesia modified the temporal harms associated with surgery following Covid-19 infection.
Summary Background Data:
Surgery shortly after Covid-19 infection is associated with higher rates of complications, leading to recommendations to delay surgery following Covid-19 infection when possible. However, prior studies were based on populations with low or no prevalence of vaccination.
A retrospective cohort study of patients who underwent scheduled surgery in a health system from January 1, 2018 to February 28, 2022 (N=228,913) was performed. Patients were grouped by time of surgery relative to Covid-19 test positivity: 0 to 4 weeks after Covid-19 (“Early Post-Covid-19”), 4 to 8 weeks after Covid-19 (“Mid Post-Covid-19”), greater than 8 weeks after Covid-19 (“Late Post-Covid-19”), surgery at least 30 days before subsequent Covid-19 (“Pre-Covid-19”), and surgery with no prior or subsequent test positivity for Covid-19.
Among patients who were not fully vaccinated at the time of Covid-19 infection, the adjusted rate of perioperative complications for the Early Post-Covid-19 group was significantly higher than for the Pre-Covid-19 group (relative risk 1.55; P=0.05). No significantly higher risk was identified between these groups for patients who were fully vaccinated (0.66; P=1.00), or for patients who were not fully vaccinated and underwent surgery without general anesthesia (0.52; P=0.83).
Surgery shortly following Covid-19 infection was not associated with higher risks among fully vaccinated patients or among patients who underwent surgery without general anesthesia. Further research will be valuable to understand additional factors that modify perioperative risks associated with prior Covid-19 infection.