We developed a decision analysis model to evaluate risks and benefits of delaying scheduled bariatric surgery during the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Our base case was a 45-year-old female with diabetes and a body mass index of 45 kg/m2. We compared immediate with delayed surgery after 6 months to allow for COVID-19 prevalence to decrease. We found that immediate and delayed bariatric surgeries after 6 months resulted in similar 20-year overall survival. When the probability of COVID-19 infection exceeded 4%, then delayed surgery improved survival. If future COVID-19 infection rates were at least half those in the immediate scenario, then immediate surgery was favored and local infection rates had to exceed 9% before surgical delay improved survival. Surgeons should consider local disease prevalence and patient comorbidities associated with increased mortality before resuming bariatric surgery programs.
Keywords: Bariatric surgery; COVID-19; Coronavirus; Decision analysis; Risk modeling; Sleeve gastrectomy.