Sunday, October 9 Clinical Care; Communications; Critical Thinking and Decision Making; Ethics and Professionalism; Food, Nutrition and Dietetics and Physical Activity; Leadership and Advocacy| Volume 122, ISSUE 10, PA92, October 2022

Efficacy of Metabolic Surgery During the COVID-19 Pandemic

      Learning Outcome

      Upon completion, participants will better understand and be more equipped to care for bariatric weight-loss patients in an increasingly electronic health care world.


      There is an obesity epidemic in the United States and many people have resorted to bariatric surgery. This study sought to determine if patients who received surgery immediately prior to the pandemic were less successful in weight loss and comorbidity resolution.


      Weight loss and comorbidity resolution were recorded through EMRs. The experimental group included patients who received surgery from December 2019-February 2020 (immediately prior to the start of the pandemic). The control group included patients from December 2018-February 2019.


      Of the 64 participants who met inclusion criteria (control, N=34; experimental, N=30), the average starting BMI=47 6-month BMI=35.6, and 12-month BMI=33.8. Results showed that the experimental group experienced a decrease in BMI of 1.51 points less than the control (p=0.189) at 6-months. The experimental group experienced a BMI decrease of 2.89 fewer points (p=0.132) at 12-months. There were no statistically significant differences in weight loss between the two groups. Women experienced a 6-month BMI decrease of 11.0 compared to men at 12.6 (p=0.11). Women experienced a 12-month BMI decrease of 11.9 compared to men at 16.7 (p=0.018).


      Results indicate similar success of bariatric surgery between experimental and control groups. This could be caused by less strict COVID restrictions in Texas compared to European nations who demonstrated variance in weight loss due to COVID impact. Women lost less weight compared to men which is opposite to most bariatric research conclusions and warrants further long-term study to determine internal validity and potential socioeconomic causes specific to this region.

      Funding Source

      No funding, student led project.