We’ve all had a similar thought as we cruise down the snack aisle in the grocery store: If I buy low-fat cookies, chips and crackers, I can eat more of them. But that mentality may not serve you in the end.
It’s no secret - the pandemic has changed patient care. Some services, such as virtual appointments, are likely here to stay. In the case of bariatric surgery and weight management care, virtual visits are making it easier for prospective patients to get the information they need, and get evaluated, from the comfort of their own homes.
For many people, the pandemic upended routines and changed our daily lives.
“Isolation, loneliness and depression were common early in the pandemic, which caused some patients to adopt unhealthy eating habits and abandon established exercise routines,” said Bradee Rojas, M.S., R.D.N., bariatric surgery program coordinator at Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill. “While others used the newfound flexibility and time to work on self-improvement and lifestyle changes—putting them on the path to a healthier and happier life.”
If you feel ready to take better control of your weight—and your health—bariatric surgery may be the right next step for you.
How Bariatric Surgery Has Gone Virtual
Now, weight management care from Inspira is more accessible than ever, thanks to virtual appointments. “We adapted to meet the needs of our patients by making information sessions, support groups and other bariatric and weight challenge-related appointments virtual,” said Keith Kreitz, M.D., F.A.C.S., medical director of bariatric surgery at Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill. “You can now access our program in many different ways without having to leave your home. You can even take a virtual tour of the hospital, meet with dietitians or clinical coordinators and schedule appointments online.”
Access to virtual care also means patients can have a higher level of comfort when learning about their options for weight management. “Telehealth has opened the door to better care. Patients may be self-conscious about their weight or may not want to ask questions during an in-person information session. Now, you can be comfortable in your home and may have more confidence to take that first step in caring for yourself and your health,” said Rojas.
At Inspira, patients have access to quality weight management and bariatric care from experienced providers online and close to home. Some of the virtual bariatric services at Inspira include:
- Online scheduling
- Virtual information sessions
- Virtual support groups
- Telehealth consultation appointments
- Online physician profiles
- Access to electronic medical records
- Virtual hospital tours
Of course, if you are a candidate for bariatric surgery - preoperative testing, surgery and some postoperative evaluations will still need to take place in person. But rest assured we’re following all current COVID protocols to keep everyone’s health and safety in mind.
“Even during the pandemic, we are leading patients through the bariatric surgery process, both online and in person,” said Dr. Kreitz. “And after the procedure, we monitor our patients’ health for life so they can maintain their new weight loss and lifestyle for as long as possible”.
To speak with a Bariatric specialist or to request an appointment, visit InspiraHealthNetwork.org/Bariatric or call 1-800-INSPIRA