2020 has been an unusual year, to say the least, full of many questions and uncertainties, and assessing the risk of surgery during these times has been one of the concerns facing many patients. Although non-urgent surgeries were paused earlier this year, they have resumed during the past several months. Hospitals have seen an increase in patients inquiring specifically about weight loss surgeries, especially as obesity has been noted as a COVID-19 risk factor.
The rise in interest in bariatric surgery appears to be related to concern by patients about COVID-19. Even with vaccines on the horizon, this year has shown how obesity can be a risk factor for diseases. In the case of COVID-19, individuals with the highest body mass index statistically have more complications and a higher death rate if they contract COVID-10 than similar individuals who are not obese.
Earlier this year, bariatric surgery was classified in many cases as an “elective” procedure, and procedures were temporarily suspended. However, Dr. Smith and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery maintain that bariatric surgery is “medically necessary and the best treatment for those with the life-threatening and life-limiting disease of severe obesity” and advocated for resuming procedures as quickly as possible (and advocated for procedures to continue if there was a suspension of elective surgeries in the future).
The demand for other elective surgeries that were suspended earlier this year has not returned, but demand for weight loss surgery has not only returned BUT increased! Here at Ultimate Bariatrics, we feel that bariatric surgery is not just an elective procedure, that it is crucial for so many to begin living a fuller, more healthy life. We continue to advocate for our patients and their health and safety, not just during these pandemic times, but all the time.
If you are interested in learning more about one of our procedures, about the risks of obesity and disease, or concern about the safety of surgery during COVID-19…. Or any other questions, please do not hesitate to call us for a consultation. We are here for you, your health, your safety, and doing what is possible to help you live your ultimate life.