Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Utilization and Safety in the United States

Sarah E. Messiah, Luyu Xie, Matthew Sunil Mathew, Elisa Marroquin Marroquín, Jaime P. Almandoz, Faisal G. Qureshi, Benjamin E. Schneider, Nestor de la Cruz-Muñoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Metabolic and bariatric surgery (MBS) is a safe and effective treatment option for severe obesity. The utilization and health and safety outcomes of MBS in the United States (US) during the COVID-19 pandemic versus 2015–2019 among adolescent and adult populations and by ethnic group is largely unknown. Methods: The 2015–2020 Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) longitudinal (30-day) cohort data was used to compare adolescent and adult (N = 1,134,522) post-operative outcomes and to calculate MBS utilization pre-pandemic (2015–2019) versus pandemic (2020). Cochran-Armitage trend tests compared MBS utilization and safety outcomes over time from 2015 to 2020. Logistic regression analysis compared the odds of hospital readmission and MBS completion pre-pandemic versus pandemic by key characteristics. Results: MBS utilization increased by 8.1% among youth (from 970 to 1140 procedures) and decreased by 10.2% among adults (from 205,232 to 167,384) from 2019 to 2020, respectively. MBS increased by 18.5% during the pandemic for youth who identified as other/multiracial (P trend < 0.001). Among US youth, the number of reoperations and reinterventions significantly decreased over the 6-year time frame (P trend <.001). Among US adults, 30-day post MBS mortality, reoperations, readmissions, and reinterventions all showed a significant decrease over time (P trend <.001) while septic shock and sepsis increased from pre-pandemic to the first year of the pandemic (P trend < 0.001). Conclusion: In comparison to 2019 (or to previous years), US MBS utilization increased for youth but decreased for adults during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Safety outcomes were comparable to those of the pre-pandemic years. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2289-2298
Number of pages10
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Bariatric surgery
  • COVID-19
  • Safety
  • United States
  • Utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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