Orv Hetil. 2023 Sep 3;164(35):1367-1372. doi: 10.1556/650.2023.32854. Print 2023 Sep 3.
INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic influenced not only the elective, but the acute surgeries also, all around the world. Some authors found more delayed cases and more orchiectomies performed in childhood because of testicular torsions during the pandemic.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the treatment of childhood testicular torsion and the frequency of semicastration due to torsion at the first author’s institute.
METHODS: A retrospective observational cohort study was performed in a representative Hungarian centre. Boys under 18 years of age operated with testicular torsion were divided into two groups: before COVID-19 (BC; 01/07/2017-31/12/2019) and during COVID-19 (DC; 01/01/2020-30/06/2022) pandemic.
PARAMETERS: elapsed time between the first symptom and arrival at the hospital (<24 h or >24 h), elapsed time to start the surgical procedure since the arrival to the hospital and the rate of semicastration were analysed. For statistical analysis, Mann-Whitney U and chi2 tests were used.
RESULTS: During the study period, altogether, 100 patients (45 BC and 55 DC) were operated on testicular torsion. Statistically significant difference was found between the two timeframes: in the elapsed time from the first symptom and arrival at the hospital (p = 0.048). During the pandemic surgeries started earlier (1.5; 2.5 h) than before the pandemic (1.5; 3.25 h, p = 0.01). No difference was found in the frequency of semicastration between the groups (p = 0.594).
DISCUSSION: Contrary to the literature, during the COVID-19 pandemic, patients with testicular torsion arrived earlier at the hospital, and surgeries were started earlier, than before the pandemic at the investigated institute.
CONCLUSION: The reason behind this accelerated care pathway might be the absence of less severe cases during the COVID-19 period. When people are more prone to stay home, if it does not seem necessary to seek help for any kind of non-urgent medical problem. Orv Hetil. 2023; 164(35): 1367-1372.