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Cirujano general

versión impresa ISSN 1405-0099


COTE ESTRADA, Lilia et al. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the practice of General Surgery in Mexico. A national survey. Cir. gen [online]. 2020, vol.42, n.2, pp.149-164.  Epub 04-Oct-2021. ISSN 1405-0099.


In December 2019, an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown cause was first reported in Wuhan, Province of Hubei, China. Its contagiousness quickly crossed borders, becoming a pandemic now present in 188 countries, with a total of 16’950,407 cases and 664,961 deaths. This event has generated substantive changes in all areas of human activity. Medical and surgical practice is no exception.


To collect and analyze data related to some conditions of the general surgeon’s practice and the effect caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. To highlight useful information that could allow building a support reference for personal actions and decision-makers.

Material and methods:

A descriptive observational study. The authors developed an anonymous survey using the Survey Monkey® tool sent to surgeons by email using the Asociación Mexicana de Cirugía General, Mexican Association of General Surgery’s member database, reinforced by social networks. The following sections were included to provide an overview: demographics, professional activity, hospital characteristics, surgical practice, personal protection equipment, and COVID-19.


There were 723 responses from surgeons. The following highlights were collected: 90.32% were general surgeons, 79.61% males, and 20.39% females. The main age group between 30 and 60 years (75.5%). The main comorbidity is hypertension (23.24%), with a median risk of complications from COVID-19 at 59.86%. 52.52% of the surgeons work in COVID Hospitals. Elective surgery is performed at 44.2% of these. In 63.99% no device is used to filter CO2 during minimally invasive surgery, and only 20.76% of operating rooms have negative pressure. 48.5% of the staff buy their Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). Physicians are among the staff with the highest infection rate (42.46%), those in the Emergency Service with a 43.26% rate. As a response to this situation, adaptation to the professional and family environment has been difficult for 49.57% of them.


The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has generated substantial changes in the practice of general surgery in Mexico, from an immediate response requiring training and prevention measures to the development of medium and long-term strategies for improved performance and safety for patients and health professionals.

Palabras llave : Coronavirus; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; general surgery; personal protection equipment.

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