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Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Functional Urology Practice: A nation-wide survey from Turkey
  • Ahmet Tahra
Ahmet Tahra
Istanbul Medeniyet University Faculty of Medicine
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Objective The Coronavirus pandemic has affected urological practice worldwide. In this study, we aimed to evaluate functional urology practice including outpatient clinic visits, routine examinations, diagnostic procedures and surgical interventions with an online survey. Method We conducted an online survey to evaluate Turkish urologists’ functional urology practices before and during the pandemic. In this survey, we asked questions about the respondents’ place of work, being part of a dedicated pandemic center, involvement with the pandemic and an interest in functional urology. We also examined outpatient clinics, routine examinations, diagnostic methods, and surgical practice before and during the pandemic. Results A total of 152 urologists completed the survey. The majority of the participants, (79.6%) were in tertiary centers. Nearly one-third of respondents (32.2%) stated that more than 50% of their routine practice is related to functional urology. In brief, 80.9% of the participants declared a decrease in the number of outpatient visits for functional urology. 68.4% of the participants declared a decrease in uroflowmetry practice, and 81.3% of had a decrease in urodynamic studies performed. According to respondents, 92.1% stated a decrease in botulinum injections for the bladder, and 93.4% of the participants declared a decrease in anti-incontinence surgery. Eighty-five percent of the participants declared a decrease in prolapse surgery. One-hundred and twenty-eight participants (84.2%) declared a decrease in surgery for benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). Only 28.9% of the participants responded that they diagnosed their neuro-urology patients as they did prior to the pandemic. Conclusions The daily practice of urology changed, and functional urology was one of the most affected field. The large backlog of functional urology patients is challenging and although conditions, diagnostic tools and surgeries were classed as “benign”, we will have to face the effects of patients’ Quality of life in the near future.