The goal of this study was to determine whether or not anesthetic type or status affected the short-term risks associated with surgery after infection with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). It is recommended that surgical procedures following a COVID-19 infection be postponed to reduce the risk of complications. However, earlier research relied on samples from populations where vaccination rates were with low or nonexistent vaccination ratess conducted on all patients in a healthcare system who had a planned operation between January 1, 2018, and February 28, 2022 (N=228,913). Patients were categorized into those who underwent surgery within the first four weeks after a positive COVID-19 test (“early post-COVID-19”), those who underwent surgery between the fifth and thirtieth weeks after a positive COVID-19 test (“mid post-COVID-19”), those who underwent surgery more than eight weeks after a positive COVID-19 test (“late post-COVID-19”), those who underwent surgery at least 30 days before a subsequent COVID-19 The early post-COVID-19 group had a substantially higher adjusted rate of perioperative problems than the pre-COVID-19 group (relative risk: 1.55; P=0.05), but only among patients who were not fully vaccinated at the time of COVID-19 infection. No statistically significant difference in risk was seen between patients who were fully vaccinated (0.66; P=1.00) and those who were not fully vaccinated but received surgery under local anesthesia (0.52; P=0.83). Patients who were fully immunized or who underwent surgery without general anesthesia did not face increased risks from undergoing surgery soon after contracting COVID-19. Previous infection with COVID-19 has been linked to increased perioperative risks, but this association is complex, and further study is needed to understand it better.
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