In this video, colorectal surgeon Carmen Cagigas provides an insight into the experience of her centre at the hospital Marques de Valdecilla, Santander, Spain.

They were able to continue their surgical activity, and used enhanced recovery to reduce length of stay and telematic consultation to avoid unnecessary patient attendance. Preoperative screening at their centre is used, and it is pivotal in protecting patients and surgeons when continuing surgical activities.

Ensuring that surgical services are offered during the pandemic is important, and the measures described by Carmen are relevant in offering timely care to patients, and to prepare for the expected increase in colorectal procedures and outpatient appointments that is likely to occur after the mitigation phase. This is important at a time when patients are facing not only the difficulties intrinsic to their baseline diseases but also a sense of uncertainness caused by delayed treatment and interaction with their doctors.

Carmen Cagigas MD, PhD, FEBS (Coloproctology) is a colorectal surgeon at the Marques de Valdecilla University Hospital, Santander.

The colorectal department of the hospital Marques de Valdecilla has received the advanced accreditation of the Spanish Association of Colorectal Surgery. It was a pioneer in the implantation of robotic colorectal surgery in 2010, currently being a reference in the training of surgeons in Europe.

Ms Cagigas has special interest in colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and minimally invasive surgery. She completed a fellowship in colorectal surgery at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, UK. She was accredited as a robotic surgeon in 2011, with experience of more than 200 cases; she received the European Board of Surgical Qualification in colorectal surgery in 2017.