Safety of Bariatric Surgery in ≥ 65-Year-Old Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Rishi Singhal, Islam Omar, Brijesh Madhok, Yashasvi Rajeev, Yitka Graham, Abd A. Tahrani, Christian Ludwig, Tom Wiggins, Kamal Mahawar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Age ≥ 65 years is regarded as a relative contraindication for bariatric surgery. Advanced age is also a recognised risk factor for adverse outcomes with Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) which continues to wreak havoc on global populations. This study aimed to assess the safety of bariatric surgery (BS) in this particular age group during the COVID-19 pandemic in comparison with the younger cohort. Methods: We conducted a prospective international study of patients who underwent BS between 1/05/2020 and 31/10/2020. Patients were divided into two groups — patients ≥ 65-years-old (Group I) and patients < 65-years-old (Group II). The two groups were compared for 30-day morbidity and mortality. Results: There were 149 patients in Group 1 and 6923 patients in Group II. The mean age, preoperative weight, and BMI were 67.6 ± 2.5 years, 119.5 ± 24.5 kg, and 43 ± 7 in Group I and 39.8 ± 11.3 years, 117.7±20.4 kg, and 43.7 ± 7 in Group II, respectively. Approximately, 95% of patients in Group 1 had at least one co-morbidity compared to 68% of patients in Group 2 (p = < 0.001). The 30-day morbidity was significantly higher in Group I (11.4%) compared to Group II (6.6%) (p = 0.022). However, the 30-day mortality and COVID-19 infection rates were not significantly different between the two groups. Conclusions: Bariatric surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with a higher complication rate in those ≥ 65 years of age compared to those < 65 years old. However, the mortality and postoperative COVID-19 infection rates are not significantly different between the two groups. Graphical abstract: (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalObesity Surgery
Volume32
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.

Funding

The study was funded by the bariatric unit’s research funds at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (Birmingham, UK).

FundersFunder number
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

    Keywords

    • Metabolic surgery
    • Obesity
    • Older patients
    • Resuming elective surgery
    • SARS-CoV-2

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