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Author Notes:

Olivia H. Chang, MD, Women's Health Institute, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Ave, Desk A81, Cleveland, OH 44195.

The authors thank Nancy Frankel, Anjani Kapadia, Rebecca Zhou, Karen Schirm, Erryn Tappy, Madhuri Gottam, Neha Gaddam, Emily Sendukas, Deina Bossa, Juanita Bonilla, Surabhi Tewari, Miguel Luna Russo, Megan S. Orlando, Hannah Millimet, Garland Almquist, Amanda Wagner, Kerri Andre, Vyvian Borse, and Sylwia Clarke.

Dr. Ascher-Walsh owns Expert Alternatives and produces alternative treatments for myomas. Dr. Mueller is an expert witness for Ethicon and is a recipient of National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Research Grant. The other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


Research Funding:

Karl Storz provided funding for data management and statistical analysis.


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Gynecologic surgery
  • Surgical outcomes
  • Adverse events
  • Nosocomial infections

Surgical Outcomes in Benign Gynecologic Surgery Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic (SOCOVID study)

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Journal Title:



Volume 29, Number 2


, Pages 274-+

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Study Objective: To determine the incidence of perioperative coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in women undergoing benign gynecologic surgery and to evaluate perioperative complication rates in patients with active, previous, or no previous severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection. Design: A multicenter prospective cohort study. Setting: Ten institutions in the United States. Patients: Patients aged >18 years who underwent benign gynecologic surgery from July 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, were included. All patients were followed up from the time of surgery to 10 weeks postoperatively. Those with intrauterine pregnancy or known gynecologic malignancy were excluded. Interventions: Benign gynecologic surgery. Measurements and Main Results: The primary outcome was the incidence of perioperative COVID-19 infections, which was stratified as (1) previous COVID-19 infection, (2) preoperative COVID-19 infection, and (3) postoperative COVID-19 infection. Secondary outcomes included adverse events and mortality after surgery and predictors for postoperative COVID-19 infection. If surgery was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the reason for postponement and any subsequent adverse event was recorded. Of 3423 patients included for final analysis, 189 (5.5%) postponed their gynecologic surgery during the pandemic. Forty-three patients (1.3% of total cases) had a history of COVID-19. The majority (182, 96.3%) had no sequelae attributed to surgical postponement. After hospital discharge to 10 weeks postoperatively, 39 patients (1.1%) became infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The mean duration of time between hospital discharge and the follow-up positive COVID-19 test was 22.1 ± 12.3 days (range, 4–50 days). Eleven (31.4% of postoperative COVID-19 infections, 0.3% of total cases) of the newly diagnosed COVID-19 infections occurred within 14 days of hospital discharge. On multivariable logistic regression, living in the Southwest (adjusted odds ratio, 6.8) and single-unit increase in age-adjusted Charlson comorbidity index (adjusted odds ratio, 1.2) increased the odds of postoperative COVID-19 infection. Perioperative complications were not significantly higher in patients with a history of positive COVID-19 than those without a history of COVID-19, although the mean duration of time between previous COVID-19 diagnosis and surgery was 97 days (14 weeks). Conclusion: In this large multicenter prospective cohort study of benign gynecologic surgeries, only 1.1% of patients developed a postoperative COVID-19 infection, with 0.3% of infection in the immediate 14 days after surgery. The incidence of postoperative complications was not different in those with and without previous COVID-19 infections.

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