Delays to weight loss surgery during Covid-19 could increase complications
Waiting for surgery could lead to additional health complications
Prolonged wait times and surgery delay can increase the risks for patients with acute conditions posing an immediate threat to life, organs, or limbs and this may be happening now due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Professors Paul Zimmet and John Dixon, experts in diabetes and obesity at Monash University in Australia, said the new recommendations included non-surgical interventions that could improve metabolic and weight control for patients awaiting surgery, during the current period of limited elective surgery capacity. Professor Zimmet said: “At this historic moment, we are seeing a clash of two huge global pandemics - those of [type 2] diabetes and Covid-19.
“The numbers of both have continued to escalate. The “diabesity” (diabetes and obesity) epidemic has been strongly correlated with sedentary [inactive] lifestyle. While this situation is compounded during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is an essential and needed component of our government’s successful, strong and necessary attack on this dangerous viral epidemic.
“Furthermore, as we move forward into the recovery phase, we need to recognise the importance of turning our attention to diabetes and obesity as major drivers of our national chronic disease burden.”
Professor Rubino, Chair of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery at King’s College London and Consultant Surgeon at King’s College Hospital, said: “In times of limited resources, patients with greatest risk of harm from untreated disease should be identified and prioritised for timely access to the treatment they need. The misconception that bariatric surgery is a ‘last resort’, widespread stigma of obesity and inadequate criteria for patients’ selection can penalise candidates for surgical treatment of diabetes and obesity.”
Read the report in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology
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