Safe and effective weight loss immediately following bariatric surgery occurs in concert with both social and medical support. Interruption of support networks may threaten weight loss. During the COVID19 pandemic, a Connecticut state-mandated 'lockdown' from 3/15 to 5/18/2020 suspended in-person services and interrupted social support. We investigated the effect of exposure to 63 days of COVID lockdown within 12 months of index sleeve gastrectomy (SG) or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) on weight loss.


This single center, retrospective chart review identified 1057 patients with 1 year follow-up data who underwent SG or RYGB from 1/9/2016 to 12/30/20. Controls (Group C) (SG n750, RYGB n130) completed surgery and follow up from 1/9/2016 to 3/15/20, before lockdown. Lockdown patients (Group L) (SG n159, RYGB n18) completed surgery before 3/15/20, and follow up after the lockdown (5/20/20 to 12/31/2020). Weight loss (WL) was compared between C and L, within surgery types.


Within surgery type, pre-surgery characteristics differed little between L and C (Table 1, top). Days to follow-up, and absolute and relative weight changes did not differ between L and C. Within L, 16% of SG patients and 20% of RYGB patients experienced virtual (telemedicine) visits with bariatric clinicians during follow-up, compared to 0.6% in Group C.


We detected no effect of 63 days of COVID lockdown on measures of weight change at 1 year post SG or RYGB. Telemedicine visits may be useful to maintain/improve clinical management of surgical weight loss during suspension of live health services.