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Also in the operating room ‘cheap is expensive’

Rosanna Herrera / Special for LD
Santo Domingo
Health is not a game. Improvisation is your worst enemy and putting yourself in expert hands is what gives you the best results, especially when it comes to surgery.

This consideration comes to a single voice from members of the Dominican Bariatric Surgery Society (Sodocimeb), who are concerned about ‘migration to the cheapest’ call for awareness regarding the preservation of health.

For such purposes, Dr. Pablo Garcia Vargas, a surgeon in bariatric, made with a team of specialists who, like him, belongs to the Sodocimeb, a research based on the reality of bariatric surgery in 2015.

“Reviewing the statistics, we show satisfactory data as of the approximately one thousand surgeries performed in the country by the members of society, the complication rate was less than 3% and only one case of death was 0.9%”, says García Vargas.

He argues that statistically, these percentages are even below international statistics, which reveal that major complications are close to 4% and mortality ranges from 0.1 to 0.3%. “This indicates that quality and safety are in expert hands,” says García Vargas.

Reason for alarm
The investigation not only served to put in evidence the favorable results. It also allowed to know the report of 12 complications and six deaths of patients who were operated by unqualified surgeons or non-members of society. “Many of these cases, already in trouble, were treated to save the patient by our members of society, although some arrived too late,” laments the surgeon.

In addition to being alarming, these cases are a call to reflection for people to investigate, document and evaluate the surgeon before putting themselves in their hands, says García Vargas.

The specialist says that the problem is similar to that between real plastic surgeons and ‘aesthetics’ ranging from gynecologists, general surgeons to general practitioners and students, who without the proper faculty for these specific processes are dedicated to performing them putting at risk the health and even the life of the patients. “That is why we thank Dr. Altagracia Guzmán, who set a precedent by ruling in favor of patient safety, ending with this conflict,” emphasizes the doctor.

The doctor points out that today the most reliable soul that surgeons have to protect the patient is information, that is why it recommends Dominicans who suffer from obesity and who are considering surgery as an option, to visit specialists in the matter to those who can contact in www.sodocimeb.com.do.

Importance of belonging to the Sodocimeb
García Vargas, a bariatric surgeon and specialist in laparoscopy, reports that there is an important list of highly trained, trained members of excellent human and professional quality who can offer their patients the security they deserve. “The members of this entity, to which I also belong, minimize the chances of complications that, although it may occur as expected worldwide, have the ability to identify and resolve them,” he says.

He believes that for health there is no price, because although it is true that quality costs and that the materials and expenses of these procedures are highly expensive, it is also true that the safety of the patient can never be compromised by making materials or equipment cheaper. “It is painful that we are not willing to invest in ourselves when it comes to health, while we find it so easy to compromise whatever it takes to please our vanity,” the specialist says.

Through networks
García Vargas tells that in a single day he receives through social networks or by mail, questions about how much a bariatric surgery costs, without coming to his office, without being interested in knowing his file as a surgeon, without investigating in the least about his knowledge, and the worst, without making contact with him to create that bond of trust that is needed between doctor-patient.

Hence the concern of the members of the Dominican Society of Bariatric Surgery to insist that they take due account of the importance of going to the operating room to obtain the best results.