• A multicentre qualitative study of patient skin surgery experience during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK

      Gnanappiragasam, Dushyanth; Veitch, David; Wernham, Aaron
      Understanding patient concerns regarding skin surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic is a vital way of learning from individual experiences. A shift towards using superficial absorbable sutures (AS) has been anecdotally observed. We explored patient attitudes to the use of AS, and their experiences and perceptions of attending for skin surgery during the pandemic. In total, 35 participants were interviewed (74% men, 100% white British; mean age 72.5 years, range 43-95 years). Participants reported that they were reassured by precautions taken to minimize exposure and risk from COVID-19. The majority (86%) did not feel that personal protective equipment worn by staff impaired their experience, and 29% reported that their experience of attending for skin surgery during the lockdown period was more efficient and organized than on prepandemic visits. The vast majority (94%) of participants would opt to have AS again or had no strong preference for either suture type. Based on their experiences, most participants would have no concerns about attending for further skin surgery during the pandemic and would opt to have AS.