You or a loved one may be planning or waiting for an operation. This page provides information about surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CovidSurg group will strive to deliver resources to help every patient make the right decision when they need to.

About Surgery During COVID-19

Some operations must go ahead during the pandemic and its recovery period. The CovidSurg group is a team of surgeons and researchers working together to understand how we can protect surgical patients from infection with COVID-19 and keep surgery as safe as possible.

The CovidSurg data has shown that extra breathing complications occur in patients who are infected with COVID-19 around the time of their operation and for these patients there is an increased risk of dying.

The risk of dying is associated with patient characteristics and different types of surgery. This includes a higher risk of dying for male patients, those age over 70 years and those with existing medical problems. Surgery for cancer and major surgery or emergency operations also carry higher risks. The CovidSurg team are still working to understand more about predicting risk so that surgeons and patients can make the best choices together for every patient.

If you are preparing to undergo surgery during the pandemic, the hospital team and surgeon will have considered the risks and will adjust care to keep you safe.

The resources on this page provide information about:

  • The effects of COVID-19 on surgical patients.
  • What the hospital is doing to keep you safe.
  • What you can do to stay safe.

Patient Resources

The CovidSurg Patient Information Booklets have been created to help patients and their families understand the risks of having an operation during the COVID-19 pandemic. We explain how surgical services will care for you during the pandemic and how we can work together to keep you safe.

Standard versions:
Information for patients having surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic, for UK context.

Surgery During Covid Patient Information

Surgery During Covid Patient Information

Short versions:
A simpler read, in larger text without any jargon, for patients with dyslexia, reading with a supporter, or just in a hurry.

Short Read

Short Read

Easy Read:
A simple read with short sentences and supporting pictures designed for patients with a learning disability.

Easy Read

Patient engagement helps produce authentic and accessible resources. Our Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) team is committed to translate research into patient facing materials that can be used globally. These resources are available free to anyone in the world to access or download for patients.

Please find the direct short links to the resources below. Please share freely and widely.

If you choose to share the link (instead of downloading and sharing the document), we can see all the downloads, track the impact and reach of this work, and ensure similar resources are produced in the future. Thank you.

Links back to main pages:

Surgery during COVID 

Research Explained page

English versions, UK context

Standard version            

Standard B&W                

Short read                        

Short read B&W             

Easy Read                        

Resources for Outside the UK