SPRINGFIELD — Pioneer Valley Surgical Associates announced it is offering free, monthly surgical weight-loss seminars online. The seminars have previously been held in meeting rooms at Baystate Medical Center, but the coronavirus outbreak prompted the practice to explore new options. Users can watch the video at their convenience at pvsurgical.com/seminar and inquire for a consultation. The practice will also hold its monthly support groups virtually.
Attendance at the surgical weight-loss seminar is the required first step on a patient’s journey to surgery. They must also attend a minimum of two support groups prior to the surgery. In addition to being required as part of their program, this helps ensure patients fully understand the lifetime commitment that comes with weight-loss surgery. During the pre-surgical process, patients also meet with a therapist and a nutritionist, as well as the surgeon. Some of these appointments can also be conducted using virtual telemedicine visits.
“The decision to have weight-loss surgery is a big one, and there are several steps involved,” said Dr. Burritt Haag. “We didn’t want patients to lose their momentum during the pandemic, but their health is also of our paramount concern. Virtual meetings will allow us to continue to see patients while practicing social distancing.”
While the decision to move to virtual meetings was prompted by the coronavirus outbreak, the practice plans to continue them indefinitely.
“Beyond the current, and potentially future, need for social distancing, we believe the virtual meetings and support groups will offer patients a greater level of convenience and flexibility,” Haag said. “Some of our patients struggle with mobility and other obesity-related medical conditions, so this will allow them to take the necessary steps from the comfort of their homes.”