Dr. David Buchin is a board-certified general surgeon who focuses on helping people lose weight and live healthier lives through bariatric surgery. Dr. Buchin has 19 years of surgical experience and expertise in laparoscopic techniques.
He recently talked about how he and his practice have been coping with the epidemic shutdown and reopening of the economy.
Q. What was the immediate impact of the arrival of the epidemic and subsequent government orders–were you able to keep functioning or did you have to shut down completely?
A. Once elective surgeries ceased on March 19, we quickly moved all appointments over to Telehealth.
Q. What size staff do you have?
A. We have an office staff of seven: Helene Buchin, Director; Erin Nastro, MS PA-C, MS OTR/L; Physician Assistant and Bariatric Coordinator Cassandra Columbus; Medical Secretary Tinamarie Melillo; Medical Secretary Patricia Balducci-Espiritu RD CDE CDN Registered Dietician;
Lacey Crawford, Clinical Medical Assistant and Patient Care Coordinator.
Q. Were you able to switch to online education or other services during the epidemic?
A. Yes, we migrated quite quickly over to Telehealth. We continued with our twice-monthly support groups via Zoom for our pre & post-surgery patients.
Q. Have patients begun to return for surgery or other procedures? Have they been a little hesitant to do so?
A. We restarted elective surgeries on June,1. All of our patients who had been preparing for surgery back in March were all very eager to have their surgery re-scheduled. I think that once they were educated about the protocols at the hospital, and the extra safety steps being taken, they
were not fearful to come and have their surgery. It’s important for patients to be assured that it is safe for them to proceed with an elective surgery. Our hospitals are safe and we are taking every precaution necessary.
Q.Are you doing things differently now because of concerns about Covid-19?
A. We are still conducting certain appointments via Telehealth and we also do some appointments in person.
Q. Anything else you would like to add?
A. I find it very satisfying to see how people can significantly change their lives and health for the better when they lose weight. I enjoy following their progress. The rate of obesity in the United States now exceeds 35% in nine states. People suffering from obesity often have other underlying health conditions that go along with it, such as diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea and heart
disease. People that are obese are being hit especially hard by the coronavirus. Considering bariatric surgery could be an option that can turn your life around.
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