Weight Loss Surgery Benefits Emphasized by Reduced Severity of COVID-19 Infections in Bariatric Surgery Patients, says West Medical

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Bariatric surgeon Dr. Hooman Shabatian of West Medical comments on a recent study that patients who remain clinically obese after weight loss surgery can still reap health benefits, provided they continue to work on losing weight.

The medical group offers weight loss procedures and more to patients throughout Southern California.

It’s much, much better to be at the lower end of the medically obese spectrum than to be at the more severe end. Every few pounds lost and kept off makes a notable difference,

A January 8 article on Springer Link finds that obese patients who had previously undergone bariatric surgery were 72 percent less likely to require hospitalization for severe COVID-19 symptoms and were 78 percent more likely to survive the illness compared to the control group. Dr. Hooman Shabatian of West Medical says, “The findings are extremely significant because they provide further scientific backing for what we already know – weight loss surgery has substantial benefits for patients, including those who remain clinically obese after surgery.”

“While the end goal of bariatric surgery is to help patients defeat obesity, the results always take some time,” says Dr. Shabatian. He notes, “It’s normal for patients to remain medically obese for a time after they get weight loss surgery, but the health benefits of losing excess weight can begin to show soon after the procedure, and now we know that also applies when it comes to COVID-19.”

“For example, someone who weighs over 300 pounds may suffer from many conditions, including osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes,” says Dr. Shabatian. “In the months following weight loss surgery, as weight loss is achieved, symptoms of these comorbidities may ease or even disappear. Clinically-speaking, patients may still be considered obese if their ideal weight is 150 pounds and they have so far only lost 75 pounds. While they are still considered obese at 225 pounds, that person is nevertheless much better off in regards to a great many health factors than before the surgery – and it appears that their body will also do a better job of fending off COVID-19 complications as well.”

Dr. Shabatian says, “Patients who have lost only 50 to 100 pounds and are still considered obese shouldn’t view this classification as a setback or failure. Weight loss is not an all-or-nothing game. It’s much, much better to be at the lower end of the medically obese spectrum than to be at the more severe end. Every few pounds lost and kept off makes a notable difference,” says the bariatric surgeon.

“For patients who are aware that being obese puts them in one of the high-risk groups for COVID, getting the procedure now may provide some additional peace of mind along with the many other benefits of bariatric medicine,” says Dr. Shabatian. Interested readers can learn more about weight loss procedures and West Medical by visiting the center’s website at https://westmedical.com/ or by calling (855) 678-4778.

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