Bariatric Surgery is Safe for Patients After Recovery from COVID-19

R. Wesley Vosburg, Janey S.A. Pratt, Tammy Kindel, Ann M. Rogers, Siddharth Kudav, Ambar Banerjee, Edward Hernandez, Dimitrios Athanasiadis, Laura E. Fischer, Kellen Hayes, Thomas H. Shin, Ali Aminian, Julie J. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Studies of patients who have undergone surgery while infected with COVID-19 have shown increased risks for adverse outcomes in both pulmonary complications and mortality. It has become clear that the risk of complications from perioperative COVID-19 infection must be weighed against the risk from delayed surgical treatment. Studies have also shown that prior bariatric surgery conveys protection against mortality from COVID-19 and that obesity is the biggest risk factor for mortality from COVID-19 infection in adults under 45 years of age. Studies in patients who have fully recovered from COVID-19 and underwent elective surgery have not become widely available yet. Objectives: This multi-institutional case series is presented to highlight patients who developed COVID-19, fully recovered, and subsequently underwent elective bariatric surgery with 30-day outcomes available. Setting: Nine bariatric surgery centers located across the United States. Methods: This multicenter case series is a retrospective chart review of patients who developed COVID-19, recovered, and subsequently underwent bariatric surgery. Fifty-three patients are included, and 30-day morbidity and mortality were analyzed. Results: Thirty-day complications included esophageal spasm, dehydration, and ileus. There were no cardiovascular, venous thromboembolism (VTE) or respiratory events reported. There were no 30- day mortalities. Conclusions: Bariatric surgery has been safely performed in patients who made a full recovery from COVID-19 without increased complications due to cardiovascular, pulmonary, venous thromboembolism, or increased mortality rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1884-1889
Number of pages6
JournalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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