COVID-19: IFSO LAC Recommendations for the Resumption of Elective Bariatric Surgery

Estuardo Behrens, Luis Poggi, Sergio Aparicio, Pedro Martínez Duartez, Nelson Rodríguez, Natan Zundel, Almino Ramos Cardoso, Diego Camacho, Juan Antonio López-Corvalá, Marcos Leão Vilas-Bôas, Jorge Laynez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: COVID-19 pandemic varies greatly and has different dynamics in every country, city, and hospital in Latin America. Obesity increases the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and it is one of the independent risk factors for the most severe cases of COVID-19. Currently, the most effective treatment against obesity available is bariatric and metabolic surgery (BMS), which further resolves or improves other independent risk factors like diabetes and hypertension. Objective: Provide recommendations for the resumption of elective BMS during COVID-19 pandemic. Method: This document was created by the IFSO-LAC Executive Board and a task force. Based on data collected from a survey distributed to all IFSO-LAC members that obtained 540 responses, current evidence available, and consensus reached by other scientific societies. Results: The resumption of elective BMS must be a priority maybe similar to oncological surgery, when hospitals reach phase I or II, treating obesity patients in a NON-COVID area, avoiding inadvertent intrahospital contagion from healthcare provider, patients, and relatives. Same BMS indication and types of procedures as before the pandemic. Discard the presence of SARS-CoV-2 within 72 h prior to surgery. Continues laparoscopic approach. The entire team use N95 mask. Minimum hospital stays. Implement remote visits for the follow-up. Conclusion: Resumption of elective BMS is crucial because it is not only a weight loss operation but also resolves or improves comorbidities and appears to be an immune restorative procedure of obese patients in the medium term, offering them the same probability of contracting COVID-19 as the regular population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4519-4528
Number of pages10
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Bariatric surgery
  • COVID-19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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