: Background: A preliminary analysis from the COVID-Advanced Gastrointestinal Cancer Surgical Treatment (AGICT) study showed that the rate of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for elective and urgent procedures did not decrease during the pandemic year. In this article, we aimed to perform a subgroup analysis using data from the COVID-AGICT study to evaluate the trend of MIS during the COVID-19 pandemic period in Italy. Methods: This study was conducted collecting data of MIS patients from the COVID-AGICT database. The primary endpoint was to demonstrate whether the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic scenario reduced MIS for elective treatment of gastrointestinal cancer (GIC) in Italy in 2020. The secondary endpoint was to evaluate the impact of the pandemic period on perioperative outcomes in the MIS group. Results: In the pandemic year, 62% of patients underwent surgery with a minimally invasive approach, compared to 63% in 2019 (P = .23). In 2020, the proportion of patients undergoing elective MIS decreased compared to the previous year (80% versus 82%, P = .04), and the rate of urgent MIS did not differ between the 2 years (31% and 33% in 2019 and 2020 - P = .66). Colorectal cancer was less likely to be treated with MIS approach during 2020 (78% versus 75%, P < .001). Conversely, the rate of MIS pancreatic resection was higher in 2020 (28% versus 22%, P < .002). Conversion to an open approach was lower in 2020 (7.2% versus 9.2% - P = .01). Major postoperative complications were similar in both years (11% versus 11%, P = .9). Conclusion: In conclusion, although MIS for elective treatment of GIC in Italy was reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic period, our study revealed that the overall proportion of MIS (elective and urgent) and postoperative outcomes were comparable to the prepandemic period. ClinicalTrial.gov (NCT04686747).
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