Bariatric Concerns in a COVID-19 World
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things, and bariatric care is no exception. You’ll notice several changes the next time you visit your bariatric surgeon or other members of your bariatric team. Here’s what to expect—and why these precautions are so important.
Your COVID-19 Risk
If you catch COVID-19, obesity itself increases your risk of becoming severely ill. Several underlying health conditions—such as type 2 diabetes, heart failure, and COPD—also raise the risk for severe COVID-19. The more of these underlying conditions you have, the greater the threat from the virus.
Being in a high-risk group is added reason to consider bariatric surgery. It’s also why you need to be extra cautious about avoiding COVID-19. The measures described below help keep you safe during this time.
Visiting Your Provider
Some visits with your bariatric team may now be over the phone or by video chat. When you go to the office for an appointment, these are a few of the precautions you might notice:
- Fever checks and screening questions as you enter the facility
- Limits on how many people can use the elevator at once
- Chairs spaced far apart in the waiting room—or sometimes waiting in your car
- Limits on the number of people who can come with you
- Masks worn by patients, visitors, and staff
- Frequent handwashing or use of hand sanitizer
Behind the scenes, surfaces are being rigorously cleaned and disinfected.
Going in for Surgery
Hospitals and surgery centers have put the same kinds of safety measures into place. These are additional issues you may want to discuss with your bariatric surgeon:
- Will I need to get tested for COVID-19 before my operation?
- Are patients with COVID-19 treated at the same facility I’ll be in? If so, how are they separated from other patients?
- What kinds of precautions are taken in the operating room?
Your bariatric team wants to hear your concerns. If you have other questions, don’t hesitate to ask. In this worrisome time, the answers can help give you peace of mind.
Making the Decision
Choosing to have bariatric surgery is a big decision. If you’re still looking to learn more, click here.
And as always, our team of experts is ready to answer any questions you may have: