Comparative Incidence of Periocular Surgical Site Infections with Increased Surgical Mask Use during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2021;:1-6.Abstract.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the effect of surgical mask use on infection rates for office-based periocular surgeries during the pandemic. METHODS: An Institutional Review Board-approved retrospective review of medical records identified patients who had an office-based oculofacial plastic surgery procedure during the pandemic between March and December 2020. Statistical analysis was used to compare this group to patients that underwent procedures between March and December 2019, prior to the pandemic when neither surgeon nor patient wore a surgical mask. RESULTS: The study consisted of 680 patients. Thirty-one different types of procedures were encountered. The incidence of infections in 2020 compared to 2019 was not statistically significant (1.12% (n = 3) versus 1.21% (n = 5), p = 1). All patients with infections were treated with oral antibiotics and improved without long-term complications. CONCLUSIONS: Periocular surgical site infections are uncommon, and the wearing of surgical masks by patient and surgeon during our office-based oculofacial procedures did not change the incidence of SSIs.