Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the number of otolaryngologic surgeries in Japan.

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the number of otolaryngologic surgeries in Japan.

Publication date: Apr 01, 2024

Previous studies show that the COVID-19 pandemic affected the number of surgeries performed. However, data on the association between the COVID-19 pandemic and otolaryngologic surgeries according to subspecialties are lacking. This study was performed to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on various types of otolaryngologic surgeries. We retrospectively identified patients who underwent otolaryngologic surgeries from April 2018 to February 2021 using a Japanese national inpatient database. We performed interrupted time-series analyses before and after April 2020 to evaluate the number of otolaryngologic surgeries performed. The Japanese government declared its first state of emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020. We obtained data on 348,351 otolaryngologic surgeries. Interrupted time-series analysis showed a significant decrease in the number of overall otolaryngologic surgeries in April 2020 (-3619 surgeries per month; 95% confidence interval, -5555 to -1683; p < 0. 001). Removal of foreign bodies and head and neck cancer surgery were not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the post-COVID-19 period, the number of otolaryngologic surgeries, except for ear and upper airway surgeries, increased significantly. The number of tracheostomies and peritonsillar abscess incisions did not significantly decrease during the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a decrease in the overall number of otolaryngologic surgeries, but the trend differed among subspecialties.

Concepts Keywords
Japanese COVID-19 pandemic
Otolaryngologic Interrupted time-series analyses
Pandemic Otolaryngologic surgeries


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
disease VO time
disease MESH emergency
disease MESH head and neck cancer
disease MESH peritonsillar abscess

Original Article

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