EAES Recommendations for Recovery Plan in Minimally Invasive Surgery Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

A. Arezzo*, N. Francis, Y. Mintz, M. Adamina, S.A. Antoniou, N. Bouvy, C. Copaescu, N. de Manzini, N. Di Lorenzo, S. Morales-Conde, B.P. Muller-Stich, F. Nickel, D. Popa, D. Tait, C. Thomas, S. Nimmo, D. Paraskevis, A. Pietrabissa, EAES Group of Experts for Recovery Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background COVID-19 pandemic presented an unexpected challenge for the surgical community in general and Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) specialists in particular. This document aims to summarize recent evidence and experts' opinion and formulate recommendations to guide the surgical community on how to best organize the recovery plan for surgical activity across different sub-specialities after the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods Recommendations were developed through a Delphi process for establishment of expert consensus. Domain topics were formulated and subsequently subdivided into questions pertinent to different surgical specialities following the COVID-19 crisis. Sixty-five experts from 24 countries, representing the entire EAES board, were invited. Fifty clinicians and six engineers accepted the invitation and drafted statements based on specific key questions. Anonymous voting on the statements was performed until consensus was achieved, defined by at least 70% agreement. Results A total of 92 consensus statements were formulated with regard to safe resumption of surgery across eight domains, addressing general surgery, upper GI, lower GI, bariatrics, endocrine, HPB, abdominal wall and technology/research. The statements addressed elective and emergency services across all subspecialties with specific attention to the role of MIS during the recovery plan. Eighty-four of the statements were approved during the first round of Delphi voting (91.3%) and another 8 during the following round after substantial modification, resulting in a 100% consensus. Conclusion The recommendations formulated by the EAES board establish a framework for resumption of surgery following COVID-19 pandemic with particular focus on the role of MIS across surgical specialities. The statements have the potential for wide application in the clinical setting, education activities and research work across different healthcare systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalSurgical endoscopy and other interventional techniques
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • covid-19
  • delphi consensus
  • eaes guidance
  • minimally invasive surgery
  • priority
  • COVID-19
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • EAES guidance
  • Priority
  • Delphi consensus


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