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

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

Alberto Arezzo1 · Nader Francis2,3 · Yoav Mintz4 · Michel Adamina5,6 · Stavros A. Antoniou7,8 · Nicole Bouvy9 · Catalin Copaescu10 · Nicolò de Manzini11 · Nicola Di Lorenzo12 · Salvador Morales‑Conde13 · Beat P. Müller‑Stich14 · Felix Nickel14 · Dorin Popa15 · Diana Tait16 · Cenydd Thomas17 · Susan Nimmo18 · Dimitrios Paraskevis19 · Andrea Pietrabissa20 · The EAES Group of Experts for Recovery Amid COVID-19 Pandemic


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.


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.


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.

Link to the publication at the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Clinical Trials