Effective operating room (OR) utilization by performing low-complex surgical procedures during the 2020 corona pandemic

Thomas Vogel, Dina Schippers, Balqees Aldarweesh, Ilaria Pergolini, Martina Stollreiter, Klaus Wagner, Dirk Wilhelm, Helmut Friess, Michael Kranzfelder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has almost stopped all elective surgical treatment throughout the world. As operating room (OR) capacities are reduced everywhere to ensure availability of intensive care capacities, especially low-complex surgical procedures are often postponed. These include totally implantable central-venous access ports which are important for the oncologic treatment of cancer patients. Methods: In our study, we investigated the potential of an outpatient surgical centre (OSC) in terms of workflow effectiveness compared to the central operating room complex (COR) of a university hospital using low-complex surgical procedures as an example. Data of 524 consecutive patients who received a Port-a-cath procedure (422 implantations (80.5%) and 102 explantations (19.5%)) in our department between February 2019 and February 2020 were evaluated. Results: A total of 277 patients were operated in outpatient surgical centre (OSC), and 247 patients received the procedure in the central OR (COR) complex. Grade II and III complications according to the Clavien–Dindo classification occurred in 5.2% (OSC) and 7.3% (COR) of patients. Incision-to-suture time was significantly quicker in the OSC group (36 vs. 42 min., p < 0.032). Total OR time (01:08 vs. 01:20 h) and preparation-to-incision time were also shorter in the OSC group (12 vs. 17 min., p < 0.002). Conclusion: In order to ensure effective OR utilization especially in times of the corona pandemic, the use of smaller decentralized OR units, e.g., outpatient surgical centres, for performing low-complex surgical cases is beneficial. Our study revealed shorter total OR and preparation-to-incision times.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1357-1359
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Central-venous port catheter
  • Effective OR utilization
  • Low-complex surgery
  • Surgical workflow optimization


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