30-Day morbidity and mortality of bariatric metabolic surgery in adolescence during the COVID-19 pandemic - The GENEVA study

Rishi Singhal, Tom Wiggins, Jonathan Super, Aayed Alqahtani, Evan P Nadler, Christian Ludwig, Abd Tahrani, Kamal Mahawar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Metabolic and bariatric surgery (MBS) is an effective treatment for adolescents with severe obesity.

OBJECTIVES: This study examined the safety of MBS in adolescents during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

METHODS: This was a global, multicentre and observational cohort study of MBS performed between May 01, 2020, and October 10,2020, in 68 centres from 24 countries. Data collection included in-hospital and 30-day COVID-19 and surgery-specific morbidity/mortality.

RESULTS: One hundred and seventy adolescent patients (mean age: 17.75 ± 1.30 years), mostly females (n = 122, 71.8%), underwent MBS during the study period. The mean pre-operative weight and body mass index were 122.16 ± 15.92 kg and 43.7 ± 7.11 kg/m2 , respectively. Although majority of patients had pre-operative testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (n = 146; 85.9%), only 42.4% (n = 72) of the patients were asked to self-isolate pre-operatively. Two patients developed symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection post-operatively (1.2%). The overall complication rate was 5.3% (n = 9). There was no mortality in this cohort.

CONCLUSIONS: MBS in adolescents with obesity is safe during the COVID-19 pandemic when performed within the context of local precautionary procedures (such as pre-operative testing). The 30-day morbidity rates were similar to those reported pre-pandemic. These data will help facilitate the safe re-introduction of MBS services for this group of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12832
JournalPediatric Obesity
Issue number12
Early online date8 Jul 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 The Authors. Pediatric Obesity published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of World Obesity Federation.


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • bariatric surgery
  • pandemic


Dive into the research topics of '30-Day morbidity and mortality of bariatric metabolic surgery in adolescence during the COVID-19 pandemic - The GENEVA study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this