American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Clinical Updates

Vascular Surgery in the COVID-19 Era: An ACS Advisory Council Report

By Audra A. Duncan, MD, FACS, FRCSC, Chair, ACS Advisory Council for Vascular Surgery

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted health care outcomes and delivery in every specialty, and vascular surgery is no exception. Many vascular surgery patients are frail, elderly, have multiple co-morbidities and may be residents of long-term care facilities—all factors adding to the risk of acquiring COVID or having a poor outcome from COVID infection. Many older patients who shelter-in-place may avoid seeking care for symptomatic vascular disease, resulting in increased complications due to delays in care. Internationally, hospitals have postponed or canceled elective and semi-urgent procedures to increase hospital beds for COVID patients. Additionally, we now know that COVID patients can develop vascular thrombotic complications, including acute limb ischemia, acute mesenteric ischemia, venous thromboembolism and stroke.

To address both the impact of COVID-19 on scheduled vascular operations and the thrombotic complications of COVID-19, the Vascular Surgery COVID-19 Collaborative was developed to accrue data from international institutions. The VASCC group has received further cooperation from the Vascular Low Frequency Disease Consortium (VLFDC). This international initiative can not only help identify patterns of health care and patient outcomes in vascular surgery during COVID but ideally it will help identify future methods of managing patients during pandemic or global crises.

For more information on VASCC, see the following: