Practice of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery in the Philippines during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Maria Antonia E. Habana1, Prudence V Aquino-Aquino2, Jennifer A Aranzamendez2, Marinella Agnes G. Abat3, Anna Belen I. Alensuela4, Jean S Go-Du5, Ma Asuncion A. Fernandez5, Joan Tan-Garcia6, Gladys G Tanangonan1, Anne Marie C. Trinidad7, Chiaoling Sua-Lao1
1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Quirino Memorial Medical Center, Quezon City; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Luke's Medical Center, Quezon City, Philippines
3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Victor R. Potenciano Medical Center, Mandaluyong City, Philippines
4 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Far Eastern University-Dr. Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation Medical Center, Quezon City, Philippines
5 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Luke's Medical Center, Quezon City, Philippines
6 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Manila Doctors Hospital, Manila, Philippines
7 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Luke's Medical Center, Quezon City; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Santo Tomas Hospital, Manila, Philippines
Maria Antonia E. Habana
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Philippine General Hospital, UP Manila, PGH Compound, Taft Avenue, Manila
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
OBJECTIVE: This study aims to establish baseline information on the practice of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery (MIGS) among Filipino gynecologic endoscopists amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: An online survey was conducted among Fellows of the Philippine Society for Gynecologic Endoscopy (PSGE) practicing in private and government hospitals in the Philippines after informed consent. The survey had five subsections: (1) demographic data, (2) impact of COVID-19 pandemic on MIGS practice, (3) changes of practice during the COVID-19 pandemic, and (4) changes in the conduct of surgery and postoperative care.
RESULTS: A total of 119 out of 144 PSGE Fellows based in the Philippines participated in the survey, 83% were Fellows in both laparoscopy and hysteroscopy. The majority had more than 15 years of practice and were practicing in the National Capital Region. Surgeries were canceled initially but have since resumed. The majority were hysteroscopy cases, the most common being polypectomy. Majority of the respondents reduced their clinic hours and appointments. Most have used telemedicine for consultations. Use of face masks, face shields, and personal protective equipment (PPE) were the top precautions taken in the clinics. Screening and precautions per guidelines inside the operating room setting were observed. Modifications during surgery include the use of smoke evacuators, minimizing energy device use, and wearing enhanced PPE.
CONCLUSION: The volume of laparoscopy and hysteroscopy cases was greatly reduced during the pandemic. The pandemic has disrupted the practice of MIGS both in the outpatient clinics and the operating rooms. Most of the changes made are congruent to local and international automotive task force guidelines. Precautionary measures and screening procedures must remain in place to reduce the risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 transmission to patients and health-care workers.