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The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Bariatric Surgery: Results from a Worldwide Survey


Lazaridis, Ioannis I; Kraljević, Marko; Schneider, Romano; Klasen, Jennifer M; Schizas, Dimitrios; Peterli, Ralph; Kow, Lilian; Delko, Tarik; Widmer, Jeannette (2020). The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Bariatric Surgery: Results from a Worldwide Survey. Obesity Surgery, 30(11):4428-4436.

Abstract

Background

The ongoing “coronavirus disease 19” (COVID-19) pandemic has had a strong effect on the delivery of surgical care worldwide. Elective surgeries have been canceled or delayed in order to reallocate resources to the treatment of COVID-19 patients. Currently, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on bariatric and metabolic surgical practice remains unclear.
Methods

An internet-based online survey was performed among bariatric surgeons worldwide. The survey was sent to bariatric surgeons via the International Bariatric Club Facebook group and by electronic mail via the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and metabolic disorders (IFSO) secretariat to members of the associated national IFSO societies.
Results

One hundred sixty-nine (n = 169) bariatric surgeons participated in the survey. The majority of the respondents postponed preoperative upper gastrointestinal tract endoscopies, appointments in the outpatient clinic and bariatric operations. Most surgeons performed video calls for follow-up appointments instead of meeting the patients in the outpatient clinics. Laparoscopy was still the preferred treatment for surgical emergencies, but a trend towards conservative treatment of acute appendicitis and acute cholecystitis was shown. Rapid preoperative COVID-19 testing availability was poor; therefore, routine screening of emergency bariatric cases was not widely provided. A wide variance occurred regarding precautions and personal protection equipment among the participants.
Conclusion

The COVID-19 pandemic showed a strong impact on bariatric surgical practice regarding surgical and outpatient planning as well as personnel management. Coordinated effort from the national bariatric societies should focus on strict implementation of the current recommendations regarding precaution measures and personal protection equipment. Further studies should evaluate how this impact will evolve in the near future.

Abstract

Background

The ongoing “coronavirus disease 19” (COVID-19) pandemic has had a strong effect on the delivery of surgical care worldwide. Elective surgeries have been canceled or delayed in order to reallocate resources to the treatment of COVID-19 patients. Currently, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on bariatric and metabolic surgical practice remains unclear.
Methods

An internet-based online survey was performed among bariatric surgeons worldwide. The survey was sent to bariatric surgeons via the International Bariatric Club Facebook group and by electronic mail via the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and metabolic disorders (IFSO) secretariat to members of the associated national IFSO societies.
Results

One hundred sixty-nine (n = 169) bariatric surgeons participated in the survey. The majority of the respondents postponed preoperative upper gastrointestinal tract endoscopies, appointments in the outpatient clinic and bariatric operations. Most surgeons performed video calls for follow-up appointments instead of meeting the patients in the outpatient clinics. Laparoscopy was still the preferred treatment for surgical emergencies, but a trend towards conservative treatment of acute appendicitis and acute cholecystitis was shown. Rapid preoperative COVID-19 testing availability was poor; therefore, routine screening of emergency bariatric cases was not widely provided. A wide variance occurred regarding precautions and personal protection equipment among the participants.
Conclusion

The COVID-19 pandemic showed a strong impact on bariatric surgical practice regarding surgical and outpatient planning as well as personnel management. Coordinated effort from the national bariatric societies should focus on strict implementation of the current recommendations regarding precaution measures and personal protection equipment. Further studies should evaluate how this impact will evolve in the near future.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Visceral and Transplantation Surgery
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Surgery
Health Sciences > Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Health Sciences > Nutrition and Dietetics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Surgery, Nutrition and Dietetics, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Language:English
Date:1 November 2020
Deposited On:27 Jan 2021 15:47
Last Modified:28 Jan 2021 21:02
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0960-8923
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11695-020-04830-8
PubMed ID:32654018

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