COVID-19 and Obesity: Is Bariatric Surgery Protective? Retrospective Analysis on 2145 Patients Undergone Bariatric-Metabolic Surgery from High Volume Center in Italy (Lombardy): Obesity Surgery

M. Uccelli, G.C. Cesana, S.M. De Carli, F. Ciccarese, A. Oldani, A.A.G. Zanoni, R. Giorgi, R. Villa, A. Ismail, S. Targa, A. D’Alessio, G. Cesana, L. Mantovani, S. Olmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: On February 20, 2020, a severe case of pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2 was diagnosed in northern Italy (Lombardy). Some studies have identified obesity as a risk factor for severe disease in patients with COVID-19. The purpose of this study was to investigate the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and its severity in patients who have undergone bariatric surgery. Material and Methods: During the lockdown period (until May 2020), we contacted operated patients by phone and social networks (e.g., Facebook) to maintain constant contact with them; in addition, we gave the patients a dedicated phone number at which to call us for emergencies. We produced telemedicine and educational videos for obese and bariatric patients, and we submitted a questionnaire to patients who had undergone bariatric surgery in the past. Results: A total of 2145 patients (313 male; 1832 female) replied to the questionnaire. Mean presurgical BMI: 44.5 ± 6.8 kg/m2. Mean age: 44.0 ± 10.0 year. Mean BMI after surgery: 29.3 ± 5.5 kg/m2 (p < 0.05). From February to May 2020, 8.4% of patients reported that they suffered from at least one symptom among those identified as related to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Thirteen patients (0.6%) tested positive for COVID-19. Six patients (0.3%) were admitted to the COVID Department, and 2 patients (0.1%) were admitted to the ICU. Conclusions: Although the reported rates of symptoms and fever were high, only 0.6% of patients tested positive for COVID-19. Among more than 2000 patients who underwent bariatric surgery analyzed in this study, only 0.1% needed ICU admission. © 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalObes. Surg.
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Bariatric surgery
  • COVID-19
  • Italy
  • Laparoscopy
  • Metabolic surgery
  • Obesity
  • Obesity surgery

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