AUSTIN (KXAN) — Elective procedures at hospitals are in jeopardy if enhanced restrictions go into effect for the Central Texas region. Weight loss surgery could fall into that category.
But new research suggests those types of procedures could lower the risk of severe complications associated with COVID-19.
Bariatric surgeon Dr. Steven Fass with St. David’s Medical Center says more people — from teenagers to seniors — are having weight loss surgery.
Fass says both people who are interested in getting surgery because of the coronavirus and others who are not come to see him.
“I’ve had patients say to me that they are interested in large part, because they’re hearing about the negative effects of COVID-19 patients who have obesity, and then of course you also see the usual arguments for having the surgery, which is that they just want to live a healthier longer life,” he said.
Fass explained the Cleveland Clinic published a study that showed patients that have high obesity who test positive for COVID-19 — those with a past history of weight loss surgery were hospitalized at lower rates and even had lower deaths related to COVID-19.
Although, he said the surgeries aren’t for everyone.
“I wouldn’t say the surgeries are for everyone, but certainly for people who try to lose weight on their own and are unsuccessful or they’ve been successful in the past but as they’ve gotten older and their metabolism slows, it becomes more difficult for them to lose weight.” he said.
Fass said weight loss surgery can be expensive, but most insurances cover this particular operation.