COVID-19 microsurgical breast reconstruction national practise survey: A survey of BAPRAS members and proposal of COVID-19 specific perioperative and ERAS pathways

Stephen Ali, Nader Ibrahim, Julia Warwick, Dean Boyce, Amar Ghattaura

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Breast reconstruction is one of the largest subspecialties within plastic surgery. The ‘Clinical Guide to Surgical Prioritisation During the Coronavirus Pandemic’ published by the Federation of Surgical specialty Associations during the COVID-19 pandemic defines breast reconstruction as a non-urgent priority 4 (surgery that can be delayed > 3 months) procedure. As such, breast reconstructive services have largely ceased. Recovery strategies have now been implemented to mitigate COVID-19 risk with both British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) and the Association of Breast Surgery producing guidance on recommencing breast reconstruction services. These guidelines advocate breast reconstruction, whilst highlighting existing issues to be addressed, challenges and potential opportunities. However practical advice on adapting referral pathways or enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) pathways during COVID-19 have not been addressed. Whilst existing ERAS pathways have been shown to reduce complication rates and shorten hospital stay for patients, they clearly need modification during the recovery from the pandemic but also in light of a potential second wave.

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Jasmine Walter

Content Editor, Mark Allen Group

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