Background: The effect of SARS-CoV-2 infection upon HPB cancer surgery perioperative outcomes is unclear. Establishing risk is key to individualising treatment pathways. We aimed to identify the mortality rate and complications risk for HPB cancer elective surgery during the pandemic. Methods: International, prospective, multicentre study of consecutive adult patients undergoing elective HPB cancer operations during the initial SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Primary outcome was 30-day perioperative mortality. Secondary outcomes included major and surgery-specific 30-day complications. Multilevel cox proportional hazards and logistic regression models estimated association of SARS-CoV-2 and postoperative outcomes. Results: Among 2038 patients (259 hospitals, 49 countries; liver n = 1080; pancreas n = 958) some 6.2%, n = 127, contracted perioperative SARS-CoV-2. Perioperative mortality (9.4%, 12/127 vs 2.6%, 49/1911) and major complications (29.1%, 37/127 vs 13.2%, 253/1911) were higher with SARS-CoV-2 infection, persisting when age, sex and comorbidity were accounted for (HR survival 4.15, 95% CI 1.64 to 10.49; OR major complications 3.41, 95% CI 1.72 to 6.75). SARS-CoV-2 was associated with late postoperative bleeding (11.0% vs 4.2%) and grade B/C postoperative pancreatic fistula (17.9% vs 8.6%). Conclusion: SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with significantly higher perioperative morbidity and mortality. Patients without SARS-CoV-2 had acceptable morbidity and mortality rates, highlighting the need to protect patients to enable safe ongoing surgery.
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