La REPA began as functional surgerywithout aesthetic componentits primary objective is to treating health problems related to diastasis of the rectus - lumbago, urinary incontinence, abdominal bloating, reflux, constipation, abdominal pain etc.
Plastic surgeons will say: for aesthetic results there is abdominoplasty!
But no, my friends. When the patient selection is correct, the 'cosmetic' results of the REPA are unreachable even for the cosmetic surgery.
As anyone who has visited me well knows, I very rarely do photographs patients: I am a general surgeon who does abdominal wall surgery, I have not yet managed to get it into my head to take photographs of the abdominal wall as plastic surgeons typically do. And then - let's repeat it - I always tell the patients: mine is functional surgerynot aesthetics.
However are the same patients who photograph themselvesand their photographs are very more natural and truthfulnot photoshopped, than those made (and then shown) by plastic surgeons.
The following photos were sent to me by a patient I operated on about 5 months ago, together with her comment: "I would say very good result... Bravo!!!"
Often the tone of these compliments is more astonished than pleased: not a few patients come to me simply because they can no longer stand the discomfort caused by diastasis, and so observing the aesthetic results after surgery is also a source of amazement for them.
Nothing can make me happier than a happy patientand above all, nothing can make me happier than the knowledge that I have offered my patients the best therapeutic choice available today for the minimally invasive treatment of diastasis recti: the REPAwhich, we can now tell each other, is not only curative but also has a aesthetic component extraordinary. And of all the minimally invasive interventions offered in our country today (some even pirates(but this will be the subject of a future article) is the most validated by the international surgical community, the most performed in the world, with the most scientific publications in high ranking surgical journals impact factor (and I am proud to be the most successful surgeon in the world).
What is important to emphasise now is that abdominoplasty for the repair of diastasis of the rectus abdominis no longer has any indication or justification in patients who do not have an adipose apron to be removed. If there is no excess skin to be removed, what sense does it make to subject a patient to such an operation? invasive, painful, encumbered with complications and especially by uncertain resultsas the medical literature reports up to a 40% of recurrences? With REPA, recidivism is less than1%.
But still many women undergo abdominoplasty without needing it. This happens because, still too often, the first surgeon who visits a diastasis - often on the (wrong) recommendation of a gynaecologist, a family doctor or ill-informed friends - is the plastic surgeon, and plastic surgeons do not do endoscopic surgery, do not use nets to prevent recurrence, is not part of their educational background. Look at the photo below: the patient A certainly needs an abdominoplasty - which is what I propose to patients like this, also ensuring the use of mesh to reduce recurrences, as in REPA; but do you really think that the patient B should undergo such an invasive surgery? I am certain that it is not.
Concluding REPA is a functional surgery that if well indicated has an aesthetic component that is difficult to beat from other types of surgery, especially abdominoplasty. And so the natural consequence is that, because of his knowledge, training and experience, and not least because of the results of REPA in terms of recurrences, the general surgeon must being consulted by a patient with diastasis of the rectus. To each his own, right?