Original Research

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on ophthalmic surgery at a tertiary hospital in South Africa

Ismail Makda, Aubrey Makgotloe, Naseer Ally
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 82, No 1 | a860 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v82i1.860 | © 2023 Ismail Makda, Aubrey Makgotloe, Naseer Ally | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 April 2023 | Published: 19 December 2023

About the author(s)

Ismail Makda, Department of Neurosciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Aubrey Makgotloe, Department of Neurosciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Naseer Ally, Department of Neurosciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic impacted the provision of ophthalmic care.

Aim: This study aimed to quantify the pandemic on the number of ophthalmic surgeries.

Setting: The study was conducted at a South African tertiary academic hospital.

Methods: A retrospective comparative analysis of eye surgeries 1 year pre- and post- onset of the COVID-19 lockdown (27 March 2019 to 26 March 2021) was conducted. Theatre surgical records were analysed 1-year pre- and post-lockdown. All surgical procedures were recorded and subcategorised into cataract, cornea, glaucoma, oncologic, orbital, oculoplastic, strabismus, trauma, vitreoretinal, and other. Trauma surgeries in the post-pandemic year were sub-analysed based on the level alcohol restriction level.

Results: Total surgeries decreased from 3521 to 1551 (P < 0.001). Using multivariate analysis, the incidence rate ratio (IRR) for all surgeries during the pandemic was 0.47 (P < 0.001) with a significantly reduced IRR during the first wave of 0.427 (P = 0.003) and a non-significant change during wave two; IRR 1.25 (P = 0.36). All surgical subgroups decreased significantly except oncology, insignificant decrease from 211 to 180 (P = 0.12). Trauma significantly decreased during periods of total alcohol bans; IRR of 0.50 (P < 0.001). An insignificant decrease was found during periods of partial ban with an IRR of 0.83 (P = 0.06) compared with periods without alcohol restrictions.

Conclusion: Post lockdown, the total number of surgeries decreased in all subgroups except oncology. Alcohol bans significantly decreased trauma surgeries.

Contribution: This article provides valuable insight, which may inform public health policy.


Keywords

COVID-19; coronavirus; surgical procedures; ophthalmology; public health.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Metrics

Total abstract views: 1013
Total article views: 588

 

Crossref Citations

1. Emergency surgical management for ocular trauma with confirmed COVID-19 symptoms: A case report
Vera Sumual, Reynardi Larope Sutanto, Angelina Patricia Chandra
International Journal of Surgery Case Reports  vol: 119  first page: 109761  year: 2024  
doi: 10.1016/j.ijscr.2024.109761