Hartford Business Journal

January 31, 2022

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New Year, New Focus on Health and Weight Management SPONSORED CONTENT Shady Macaron, M.D. Regional Director of Bariatric Surgery Trinity Health Of New England W ith many people taking a fresh look at their health in the New Year, the experts at Trinity Health Of New England's Bariatric and Weight Loss Management service line are here to help. They are leaders in the region when it comes to accreditations, experience, and success stories, taking their place among the top bariatric programs in Connecticut. In a conversation with Regional Director of Bariatric Surgery, Shady Macaron, M.D., we discuss how his team of highly trained surgeons and staff are providing the tools and resources for lifelong change. Q: How does Trinity Health Of New England prepare patients for their weight loss journey? A: Diet and weight loss is top-of-mind for many and is something that often comes up during a doctor's visit. Our team, which services several of our hospitals, including Saint Francis Hospital, Saint Mary's Hospital, and Mercy Medical Center, takes a comprehensive approach when working with a patient on their weight loss journey. We work individually with each patient to determine what is the most appropriate path to achieve their goals, which many times does not include surgery, but instead focuses on behavioral modifications, medication, and visits with dieticians. If the medical approach has not worked and a patient is an appropriate candidate for surgery, we provide several options to meet their individual needs. Our comprehensive approach upholds our Mission to serve as a healing presence to our patients, treating them as a whole person and addressing each aspect of their wellness journey. Q: How do you support patients before and after surgery? A: Our aim is not just to do a surgery and move on. Our goal is for our patients to get the best possible outcome, which starts from the very beginning. We begin with online informational seminars where potential patients can watch videos about surgery from the comfort of their home and speak with a fellow patient who's gone through the process before. Patients meet with a psychologist to assess their mental health needs and rule out any emotional eating or other concerns that may need to be addressed. A dietician helps to understand how to eat healthy and make good food choices. This surgery changes the way the body processes food, so it's important for patients to understand the need to change the way they eat. Through follow-up appointments with our dieticians and specialists, virtual visits, and telehealth services, we develop care plans and post-surgical strategies. Q: How does peer support factor into the equation? A: Our team understands the importance of support groups in the success of weight loss. Alongside our clinical team, patients can also be paired with "bariatric buddies." This provides support in two directions, reminding the seasoned veteran of their journey and helps to keep them remain focused on maintaining their progress. It also helps the new patient's outcome, working to lessen relapse. Long-term support is designed to help all patients, both physically and mentally. Q: What new developments have come about recently? A: The pandemic has helped us shift quickly to using our virtual resources in a more robust way. We are utilizing more online, telehealth, and video conferencing after a patient has met with their doctor once in person. We understand the needs of our communities and have made a concerted effort to expand Bariatric and Weight Loss Management services to be as accessible as possible. Our surgeons use minimally invasive techniques and robotic surgery, resulting in smaller scars and shorter recovery time. For example, we are now performing a procedure called Robotic Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD/DS) for patients suffering from extreme obesity, or who did not see success from surgery before. Q: What recognitions have the Trinity Health Of New England programs received? A: All of Trinity Health Of New England's Bariatric Surgical programs have been accredited as Comprehensive Centers under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIPĀ®), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). That is very important, because it means we have to maintain a high level, with a complication rate at nearly zero. That tells our patients this is a safe program, and you can trust what we do here. But our most satisfying recognition comes from our patients themselves when they recommend us to their community time and time again. Learn more at TrinityHealthOfNE.org/ YWeight

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