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Bariatric surgery. From body to mind



Doctor Rosario Ranno, Plastic and Large Burns Surgery Complex Surgery Operating Unit Director, National Councilor SICPRE (Plastic, Esthetic and Reconstructive Surgery Italian Society), member of the Plastic Surgery National Board and Surgeon at the Cannizzaro Hospital in Catania, tells us about how important it is for the patient to deeply understand all implications and consequences about post-bariatric surgery.

Bariatric and esthetic surgeries aren’t the same. A disproportionate increase of the volumes of adipose tissue deeply affects the proportions between the different parts of the body: this is why the volume restoring techniques of esthetical surgery aren’t 100% applicables to post-bariatric surgeries. In post-bariatric, scars are all in the game, the patient must be conscious of all potential risks and complications of this surgical intervention. For this reason, it is necessary to contact bariatric centers and their psychologists, nutritionists, endocrinologists and general surgeons. Obesity is a severe disease, that involves all the organs and from which it is almost impossible to recover from, but it can be kept under control. When a patient begins his journey at the center, it is necessary to identify the right therapy. In effect, it is decided in advance what is the acceptable weight, depending on his physical structure and state of health. 

Later on choose to continue therapy or to go for surgical intervention. General surgeries can be performed, such as Sleeve or Mini Bypass. When the acceptable weight is reached, and if the patient has achieved the right psychological maturity, he can address his surgeon to complement the particularly affected areas. The abdomen, the breast, the arms and the thighs and when it is possible, torsoplasty surgeries are also made. These interventions must be done one by one because their complications are very different from one another.

It takes from six to eight months for a correct stabilization after surgery. Restoring shapes is a complex intervention that cannot be repeated: nothing is foreordained, in order to provide each patient anything needed.

More than the surgery itself, surgeons also take care of the psychological aspect, because they must be sure that their requests are the right solution. During the path, the patient is indeed followed by a psychologist also to face the surgery itself. When going through Sleeve or Mini Bypass, the patients must be ready to face any linked sacrifice. For example, a good part of obese patients is also diabetic, due to an adipose tissue dysfunction, so when obesity is reduced, also diabete can vanish.

Obesity disease is complex and severe, but one can live with it having the strength, the ability and the understanding of what are the sacrifices that must be faced. Nobody will begin a post-bariatric reconstruction path with a patient who isn’t completely aware of all the consequences and implications connected to it.

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