Dr. Paolo Santanchè, one of the most important aesthetic plastic surgeons, explains how to deal with surgery safely.
On cosmetic surgery we are bombarded with information whose sources are often unreliable.
This bad information can lead to serious consequences on the health of patients, sometimes on life itself. An example of this is the very recent case of the woman who died at age 39 as a result of a liposuction performed not in compliance with the rules.
We asked Dr. Paolo Santanchè, one of the most important Italian aesthetic plastic surgeons of international renown, to help us understand how we can protect ourselves to deal with cosmetic surgery in complete safety.
What are the appropriate structures and conditions for doing cosmetic surgery safely?
In December 2018, the Lombardy Regional Council published the list of interventions that can be performed on an outpatient basis and all cosmetic surgery operations are not included. So it is official: cosmetic surgery operations cannot be performed in surgical surgeries, but they must take place in operating theaters that are only found in hospitals, nursing homes and day surgery where the hospitalization should not exceed the day .
In the case of the woman from Seregno everything was done that was not to be done. The doctor who had to operate her on her personal site pretends to be a plastic surgeon and is not. It boasts a series of masters that are not masters. Then he worked in a facility where it is forbidden to perform this type of intervention. He decided to tackle a rubber band implant to lift the buttocks under local anesthesia. Dangerous choice. Local anesthesia is painful and even when general anesthesia is not required it requires the presence of the anesthesiologist.
The presence of the anesthesiologist is always fundamental. Only the latter, in the event of complications, is able to prevent cardiac arrest or cope with any complications.
How can patients be protected?
Patients must learn to protect themselves. The laws are there, but no one enforces them. To give an example, whoever abuses a specialist title, is punishable by suspension from the doctors' order. But I have never seen this provision taken against the myriad of doctors who commit such abuse. Do not trust the websites of individual surgeons or cosmetic surgery portals. The valid qualifications can be verified on the official website of the National Federation of Medical Orders fnomceo anagrafica.
It is advisable to consult the site of sicpre (Italian Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery) or AICPE (Italian Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) before relying on any doctor who may have thousands of titles but they have no value.
Before undergoing an operation, it is good that the patient also inquires about where it will be performed. Saving on anesthesia or on the structure in which surgery must be performed is always dangerous. It's as if we were saving on the parachute or the car's brakes. You save money, but you can pay with your life. I realize that it is difficult to juggle these things, but the patient must learn to do it, to avoid serious dangers.
She has always been in the front line against the far west of the surgeries, yet the laws are there …
Exactly, the rules are in Italy, except, unfortunately, for those where it is not mandatory to have a specialization to carry out a specialized activity. The problem is that no one is responsible for enforcing them. For example, there are numerous surgeries in the province of Milan where unauthorized operations are performed. Yet there are no controls, no one worries about making checks. Moreover, in the clinics there is no requirement for medical records, so there is no trace of the operations performed in these facilities.
With a law of 2012, the national and regional registry of prostheses was established, but today it is almost completely disregarded. And in any case it would be ineffective when the medical record is not present.
The point is this: the patient must refuse to have surgery in the surgery.
Patients often underestimate cosmetic surgery: can this be another risk factor?
Sure. Cosmetic surgery is first of all surgery and then it is aesthetic. He must therefore respect all the rules: preparation for the intervention, therapy, the environment in which the operation is carried out. Above all it is good to change mentality. As I said, the shortcuts you think of saving money are always a risk to our health or even life.