Context: The outbreak of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has posed new challenges to surgical care throughout the world. Laparoscopic guidelines were revised to address the theoretical risks associated with transmission of viral droplets and many elective surgeries were suspended.
Aims: We aimed to describe strategies that lowered viral transmission risks such as alternative anaesthetic techniques and low-cost infection control and prevention practices for laparoscopic surgeries.
Settings and Design: Seventy two patients who presented to hospital as acute surgical emergencies between April and July 2020 and analyzed clinical data of 50 patients who underwent laparoscopic surgeries. This was a prospective observational study.
Methods and Material: Procedures were performed under spinal anaesthesia utilizing alternate electrosurgical units and simple smoke evacuation systems.
Statistical analysis used: Continuous variables were summarized as mean and standard deviation (SD) or median and range. Discrete variables were summarized as frequencies and percentages. Univariate testing was performed using t test or Mann-Whitney U test. ANOVA or Kruskal-Wallis test was used for categorical data.
Results: Of the 50 operated patients, the median age was 23 years with 54% females. The most frequently performed procedure was laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the overall median theatre time was 47 minutes, and 40% patients were managed as day cases with reduced hospital stay.
Conclusions: Use of spinal anaesthesia, a simple smoke evacuator and some additional measures during laparoscopic surgeries reduce theatre time and length of hospital stay. These strategies could address and minimize the risks associated with Covid-19 transmission in surgical settings in low-resource countries.