World Journal of Laparoscopic Surgery

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VOLUME 15 , ISSUE 1 ( January-April, 2022 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Short-term Outcomes after Bariatric Surgery during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Koel Dutt, Claire Paice, Ciara Caleshu, Arun Ariyarathenam, ML Humphreys, David SY Chan

Keywords : Bariatric surgery, COVID-19 pandemic, Precautions, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, Sleeve gastrectomy

Citation Information : Dutt K, Paice C, Caleshu C, Ariyarathenam A, Humphreys M, Chan DS. Short-term Outcomes after Bariatric Surgery during the COVID-19 Pandemic. World J Lap Surg 2022; 15 (1):26-30.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10033-1487

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 13-06-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2022; The Author(s).


Background: Elective surgery, especially bariatric surgery, was stopped during the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the United Kingdom. Obesity is a major risk factor for COVID-19-related mortality. As the COVID-19 infection and mortality rates in Devon had been relatively low, bariatric procedures resumed with the necessary precautions in Plymouth with the easing of lockdown restrictions in mid-May. The aim of this study was to examine the outcome of bariatric surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Details of 38 patients, who underwent bariatric surgery between June 2020 and November 2020, were analyzed prospectively. All patients underwent a COVID-19 swab test 24–48 hours prior to the surgery. The primary outcome measure was COVID-19-related morbidity. Secondary outcomes were non-COVID-19-related morbidity, mortality, and weight loss at 6-week follow-up. Results: Thirty-eight patients [24 females; median age 51 (24–63) years, median body mass indices (BMI) at surgery 42.9 (32.4–62.5) kg/m2] underwent bariatric surgery. Thirty-seven patients were of White British ethnicity. No patient tested positive for COVID-19 pre- and postoperatively. No patient had any COVID-19-related morbidity or mortality. One patient developed a staple line bleed and returned to theater for relook laparoscopy and hemostasis. One patient developed an anastomotic leak and had a relook laparotomy for lavage and drain placement. The median length of hospital stay was 1 day. One patient was preplanned for intensive care admission and he stayed in a high dependency unit (HDU) for 1 day. All patients were followed up for 6 weeks and the median (range) excess weight loss (%EWL), at 6 weeks, was 24.4% (−0.9–53.6). Conclusion: Bariatric surgery can be performed safely in an area of low COVID-19 prevalence with the necessary precautions.

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