Bariatric Surgery and COVID-19: What We Have Learned from the Pandemic in Iran: a Retrospective Observational Cohort Study

Gholamreza Moradpour, Masoud Amini, Nader Moeinvaziri, Seyed Vahid Hosseini, Shirin Rajabi, Cain C.T. Clark, Babak Hosseini, Leila Vafa, Neda Haghighat

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: Little is known about the symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on patients with morbid obesity following bariatric surgery (BS) in Iran. Thus, we sought to investigate the symptoms and effect of COVID-19 in patients with morbid obesity following, or candidates for, BS in Iran. Materials and Methods: In this retrospective observational cohort study, we enrolled 236 morbid obese patients following (surgical group) or candidates (nonsurgical group) for bariatric surgery. Demographics, probable COVID-19 incidence, acute and persistent COVID-19 symptoms, and clinical outcome parameters of bariatric patients and candidates for BS were compared. The incidence of probable COVID-19 was assessed including the clinical definition of probable case, according to World Health Organization criteria. Results: The incidence of probable COVID-19 among surgical and nonsurgical groups was significantly different (20.6% vs 26.08%, respectively, p = 0.046). The probable case of surgical patients had a shorter length of symptoms and hospitalization duration, and a lower proportion of admission in ICUs and hospitals with respect to nonsurgical patients (p < 0.001). Surgical patients had a greater prevalence of persistent symptoms including anorexia, food intolerance, and anosmia-hyposmia than nonsurgical patients. Moreover, surgical patients with probable COVID-19 had a significantly higher proportion of diabetic patients than surgical patients without probable COVID-19 (20% vs 9.3%). Conclusion: These findings highlight the need to evaluate the persistent symptoms of COVID-19 and the importance of nutritional support for at least several weeks after COVID-19 symptom onset. Moreover, it seems that COVID-19 incidence in post-bariatric surgery patients could reduce the effectiveness of bariatric surgery in the resolution of diabetes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)18-25
    Number of pages8
    JournalObesity Surgery
    Early online date30 Oct 2021
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


    • Acute symptoms
    • Bariatric surgery
    • COVID-19
    • Long COVID
    • Obesity
    • Prolonged symptoms
    • Weight loss

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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