The impact of COVID-19 in plastic surgery departments: a comparative retrospective study in a COVID-19 and in a non-COVID-19 hospital

Francesca Romana Grippaudo, Emilia Migliano, Ugo Redi, Gianmarco Turriziani, Davide Marino, Giuseppe D’Ermo, Diego Ribuffo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: COVID-19 is a new human-infecting coronavirus for which the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic. The first Italian cases occurred in February 2020: since then, there has been an exponential increase in new cases, hospitalizations and intensive care assistance demand. This new and sudden scenario led to a forced National Health System reorganization and review of welfare priorities. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of this pandemic on ordinary activities in two plastic surgery divisions in Rome, hosted in a COVID-19 and a non-COVID-19 hospital. Methods: The data of this comparative retrospective study was collected between 9 March and 9 April 2019 and the same period of 2020 from two plastic surgery units, one in a COVID-19 hospital and second in a non-COVID-19 hospital in Rome, Italy. The 2019–2020 data of the two hospitals was compared regarding the number of surgeries, post-operative dressings and first consultations performed. Results: Both units sustained a decrease in workload due to lockdown effects. Statistically significant differences for day surgery procedures (p value = 0.0047) and first consultations (p value ' 0.0001) were found between the COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 institutes, with a drastic trend limiting non-urgent access to COVID-19 hospitals. Conclusions: The long-term effects of healthcare reshuffling in the “COVID-19 era” imply a delay in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer and cancellation of many reconstructive procedures. These findings pose a question on the future consequences of a long-term limitation in plastic surgery healthcare. Level of evidence: Level III, risk/prognostic study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-650
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Plastic Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Pandemic
  • Plastic surgery
  • SARS
  • Skin cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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