Prof. Fabio Santanelli di Pompeo

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To my friend Fabio Is skilled, gives his life for patients, at times, it seems, he strives like he’s mad, he gets angry with the world or with whoever’s all around, but he doesn’t brag about himself, he puts his best effort in all He does. Achieves excellent results, making his operations look ordinary; He doesn’t need adulation from anybody, because, that He is skilled, he knows, it’s true …, He does! He doesn’t like appearance, could be a defect, but He shakes everyone off, not out of pique, warns the scatterbrain resolutely, warns the patient if he’s a donkey. He teaches everyybody, shares His expertise, His experience is not a confession, anyone can access his knowledge, so much teaching, for Him is a duty, not anyone, though, comprehends and they speak evil of Him … So many backstabbers! raising their heads in reverence, only when He’s present, they fear Him, and can’t accept that a colleague can also be a teacher to them!

Kind Professor,

In spite of the 3rd chemotherapy and the 1st radiation therapy application, I am still here, able to wish a Happy Easter 2009 to You and your family. Thank you for saving my life, taking care of my case personally.

… if You allow me to speak in cordial confidence, I am happy “not” to see You again… other then that… I am happy… regardless of everything!

After five operations and several “gropings” I am convinced of one thing, that in your life you need to meet the right persons.  

… I have found You… so many… all together: for this reason I personally want to thank You preserving a memory of strenght from our encounter, the strenght that You conveyed to me with Your humanity and professionality during hospitalization.

After I put myself in Your loving care, undergoing a series of operations, the most difficult thing in these months was to explain to my world what was happening to me.

While I believed I was living an E.R. episode, with Dr. Paolini resembling George Clooney, I felt like I really was the main character.

In particular, recalling several significant moments of my hospital stay, I would like to thank:

Dr. Paolini for he has passion for his profession, for his sympathy, his patience and helpfullness;

Dr. Renzi for his gentleness and professionalism;

Dr. Grippaudo for her therapeutic chatter by the operating room;

Dr. Volpes for everytime he has reassured me about the cosmetic outcome of my operation (today I feel like Sharon Stone with Pamela Anderson’s breasts?!…).

And then…HIM: Professor Santanelli, austere, quiet, pragmatic, who used to stare at my chest for a lapse of time that seemed endless to me, and I was hanging on his words… finally he would say “she’s alright”, and I… soared!

And again all the young doctors that arrived at the end of my adventure, the nurses and the irreplaceable Mrs. Lucia.

… therefore simply THANK YOU.

Alessandra

Gentle prof. Santanelli,

even though I have had many chances to thank you, I would like to thank you again and better.

Thank you for giving me back a normal life. For you have always promptly and kindly taken into consideration my demands. Even those that may have been guided by excessive vanity and by an exasperated cure for appearance.

I have never removed the nature of the problem that led me to you, and it was really hard to find the way all by myself, in our Country where there is not much information about strategies for curing patients like me. When you start from your childhood, watching your mom affected by some kind of disease, when you know every detail of the disease, when you feel assailed by the same destiny, your only indefeasible worry is to defend yourself, fighting.

Today I do not feel immune, I feel like a 30 years old woman freed from a story that seemed already written. And I know I would have never, absolutely never, followed this path if I had become like my mother was 20 years ago. The vague memory of a beautiful and young woman in a maimed body.

To live with this kind of genetic mutation that predisposes to breast cancer is a huge burden. You feel stricken in the aspects connected to femininity and fertility. Your thoughts change as well as your lifeplans.

Among all this, watching yourself in the mirror perceiving your body still beautiful and complete means you are healing and have overstepped the day of the disease, that will always remain yesterday.

No need to say your team, nobody excluded, is exemplar.

See you soon, good work.

Silvia

Kind Professor Santanelli, I have been operated by you and your team, undergoing mastectomy and reconstruction with D.I.E.P. flap for a breast cancer. In october my nipple was reconstructed by you personally.

I want to proclame all my gratitude for all you have done for me, because it is allowing me to feel normal. Despite pain, bad moments, depression, I have accepted the disease with dignity, trying not to think about it and helped by the fact that, in spite of the operation I have undergone, it is my own breast, the same I had before, better than before! And I can show deep décolletés under the curious and astonished eyes of people who know my condition. Thank you Professor! And also many thanks to Dr. Guido Paolini, Dr. Matteo Angelini and Dr. Daniela Masia.

Warm thanks also to Prof. Amanti and Dr. Maggi, who cooperated in the operation as breast surgeons. You all together gave birth to an outstanding bond between the two specialties.

And also many thanks to all the medical and para-medical staff offering its work in the plastic surgery unit.

I wanted to write you sooner! I am using the occasion of Christmas to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I also want to wish a pleasant Holy Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the above mentioned doctors and their families.

I also wish Season’s greetings to all the medical and para-medical staff. You are and will always be in my mind and in my hearth for the huge aid you have granted to me.

Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!

Federica

 

Dear friends of the Sant’Andrea Hospital, I felt I had to write you a letter… so here I am.

My trip with you started back in 2007, thanks to the outstanding professor Amanti, who brought me to your attention after a short but traumatic research of the best healthcare center…

I have been hosted by your center six times and, despite the unpleasantness of being diseased, operated, etc…, every time I step into the Sant’Andrea Hospital I do it with a smile on my face. This because besides competence and professionalism, I found so much humanity and benevolence, and for this I thank you. To receive smiles, love, helpfullness, kindness (sometimes even kisses and hugs), changes so much the perception and endurance of the patient…. (in particular my bad relationship with needles or my “friendship” with bloodsuckers, thanks to my angels Rossana and Matteo who used to apply them on me, have all been more bearable).

Naturally I can do nothing else than thank you just because I am alive (one of my high-school friends died from breast cancer in 2003, at 33 years of age), and because I trust MY onchologist (yes, I am possessive!) Dr. Pellegrini, with her eyes made of pieces of blue sky.

And what about the modern and extraordinary reconstruction technique (thank you, sublime Prof Santanelli) that allowed me not to feel maimed and to keep working as nothing has happened… I attach 2 pictures (“before” and “after” and I dare anybody to notice anything)

So, there are many persons I would like to heartily thank (Dr. Paolini with his sense of humour, Dr. Renzi for his politeness, Pierfrancesco, Giuseppe, Mrs. Lucia and all the others)… THANKS! Even if I didn’t mention your name, if we ever came in touch (therefore you have received this mail), thank you.

With love

Valeria

“THANKS! Now I understand why you don’t have time to spend in futile questions, you already know what to do. He is the Botticelli of the 2000s, but his art, in my opinion, is much greater because reshaping human tissues is much more complex than using a paintbrush or a chisel. I still have visible scars but it doesn’t matter because they will vanish over time… indeed you have been GREAT!”
Best regards.
A patient of the Sant’Andrea Hospital.

I am writing this letter to give you a report about the assistance received during my hospital stay in your unit.

I was admitted to the Plastic Surgery Unit – Director Prof Satanelli, for an abdominal hernia reduction and abdominoplasty.

I shall inform you about the optimal assistance received by all medical and nursing team.

In particular I would like to highlight the vocational preparation demonstrated, as well as the special attention to the patient showed by the nurse Mr. Ugo Giacchini.

 

Maria Antonietta

My intention is to emphasize the kindness, correctness, humanity and professionalism of all the nursing team and especially of the nurse Lucia Li Gotti from the Plastic Surgery Unit.

What should be expectable becomes almost a rarity, so thank you for all this!

Anonymous

More and more often it is possible to hear about medical malpractice. Instead I can attest the good care provided to me during my hospital stays at your structure.

Following several relapses of ameloblastoma to the mandible, I underwent a resection of the tissues affected by the disease and microsurgical mandible reconstruction with free fibular flap.

This procedure, due to its complexity, required the establishment of a multidisciplinary team directed by Prof. Fabio Santanelli (Plastic Surgery Unit, Sant’Andrea Hospital, Rome).

The outcome was excellent, thanks to the professionalism and spirit of cooperation of the consultants involved; persons of high moral and cultural stature, with a vast sense of humanity, and allow me to say: SAINTHOOD NOW!…because they make miracles while alive!

I wish to highlight the professionalism, helpfulness, but overall the sense of humanity that characterized the multidisciplinary team, including the nursing team, to whom I am grateful. I affirm that benevolence and kindness are the best therapies for a patient.

I hope that your structure will keep up with its excellent reputation, for the benefit of whoever needs its services.

 

Maria Teresa

Professor Fabio Santanelli, with his genuine art and great sensibility, has been able to shape my new identity. With lively admiration, and heartful gratitude.

Patrizia

Dear Prof. Santanelli, thank you for your professionalism and your procedure of immediate breast reconstruction. This has made my path less rocky and tortuous in the past three years and a half.

With love and admiration

Flaminia

 

P.S. – And very importantly, thank you for answering all my questions/queries/doubts, however serious or silly they may be 🙂

Thank to all of you I spend my first holiday to the beach!

Carla

Gentle professor Santanelli, and whoever is mentioned in this letter,

a year has passed since I have requested your cures, and I needed some time to accept what has happened to me.
I am writing know, in the light of day, to thank you and everyone that has accompanied me along this tangled and insidious path.
I thank God I was cured at the Sant’Andrea Hospital, at the time of the diagnosis and later on for a tumor relapse, when we faced the issue of tumor extension, thus of the need for a wider “reconstruction”.
In those moments one is completerly at the mercy of anything, blurred as if drowning into the fog; even though you might fight and are apparently resoluted, the energies to keep yourself always clear-headed are never enough. To meet the right persons, knowing how to do their job at their very best, is a blessing to say grace for.
We met due to a tumor relapse after quadrantectomy (performed also at the Sant’Andrea Hospital in a most excellent manner) for a tumor of small dimensions, thus in occasion of a violent arousal from the wish that the sorrow I had dealt with was elapsed, shattered thinking something went wrong.
Despite I am a challenging person, the sense of confusion and loss almost choked the strength required to go back into battle. However, in spite of all, I was born under a lucky star, and arrived at the Sant’Andrea Hospital where there is a complete Breast Unit, and where you keep up with a wide selection of procedures, not limited to implants.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for having avoided me the huge trauma of walking out the operative room mutilated: with the DIEP technique I ended up with two “new” breasts and they are “mine”, all with my tissues and without implants. I know that, facing the absolute need, I could have been able to deal with the very worst situation, but with how much pain again, and with what kind of long-term effects on my mind, soul, thus on my health? You have avoided me this calvary, thank you. Not considering that for the rest of my life I would have lived with a foreign body, that moves, is artificial, feels different and fake. I wish all women could not suffer too much.
We spent 8 hours together in the operative room, for a bilateral procedure (I was terrified but it had to be done). A real challenge for all of you and for me, and for my husband, waiting for the end of the operation: side by side, as hoplites at the battle of Marathon.

As every woman and patient in this condition I was completely unaware of what plastic surgery could have offered in terms of breast reconstruction. I couldn’t immagine that a procedure like the DIEP flap existed. The only procedure I knew was the reconstruction with prosthesis, culturally labelled as aesthetic devices and promoted with no regard to their frequent complications and persistent factitious sensation. 

In Finland 90% of post-mastectomy reconstructions are achieved with the DIEP flap, under patients’ request and thanks to an adequate surgical training; I was told this during an informal interview (after all I am a journalist…) by Dr. Sinikka Suominen, plastic reconstructive surgeon and associate professor at the Helsinki University Hospital. In Finland, in a less male-chauvinist culture, free from the Freudian complex of the inviting “super-breasts”, in which women are not judged nor judge themselves for their body image, having a much more naturalistic conscience, women refuse prosthesis reconstruction. Whoever deals with breast cancer should convey these informations to the population.

Luckily, prof Santanelli, you chose the most advanced and challenging professional road.

I am not an easy patient, nor a placid person: when dealing with fundamental aspects of life and existence, mine as well as other persons’, I don’t get intimidated by roles and titles and I demand, from me and others, only substance and honesty. This makes the relationship much more intricate but selects who does have substance from who only holds a role and title. I admit you and your team from the Sant’Andrea Hospital established a proper doctor-patient relationship; it was not easy, but you had substance and I have entrusted myself to you.

Finally I would heartfully thank prof Amanti and his team, dr. Maggi and dr. Lombardi, and again you, prof Santanelli, for your professionalism, and all the surgeons that are following you along this path – dr. Paolini, who assisted you during my operation, dr. Renzi and dr. Longo – thanks again for giving me the chance to recover the best condition and to get back all my strenghts and keep fighting. 

Heartful greetings, with no regrets.

Hi, my story is just as many other’s, but it did not start at the Sant’Andrea Hospital. I have undergone mastectomy and reconstruction with expander in 2005. I kept the expander for four years. It was stiff and still as a stone, and it caused me many problems, although the doctors said it represented my lifeline.

The alternative was the Tram flap, with the sacrification of the rectus abdominis muscle and its complications. A prehistoric procedure! After four years, finally, they removed the expander and I understood what it means to be mutilated, feeling like those women felt 50 years ago.

After a year in these conditions, during my research among various hospitals, I finally ended up at the Sant’Andrea Hospital in Rome, where Prof. Santanelli visited me and proposed me the DIEP flap, explaining me its great advantages. Finally, in may 2010, he operated me, and gave me back a soft and natural-like breast which over time will behave as the contralateral one, with no foreign body, without sacrificing the muscles and with no pain. Prof. Santanelli holds the highest DIEP flap casuistry in Italy. He performs this procedure immediately right after mastectomy, weekly.

Distrust surgeons boasting about false casuistry or else, just to promote themselves, thus always get all the necessary information.

Unfortunately in Italy the DIEP flap is not yet widespread and the national healthcare service does not provide an adequate refund. I hope my testimonial could make the qualified organs and persons aware of this issue, respecting women’s right to have their breast reconstructed with the DIEP flap, and to commit the operation to the most experienced surgeon in this field. I will always thank my Professor, to whom goes my highest admiration, and also his medical and paramedical team, for the sensibility and professionalism demonstrated back then as well as today.

… may his hand always be tunefully guided by harshness of mind and creativeness of heart.

Gratefully

Michela

Dearest Prof. Santanelli,

I take the opportunity to get in touch with you, to write few words more then in a cold SMS. In few days will be Christmas again, holyday that take us to remind all the people that have got and still have an important role in our life, You are one of them!! You help me to come back to my life, when with your skillfull and competent hands you reconstructed my breast. Five years has passed and I hope it will pass five more. The esteem that I feel for you is immense. I take the opportunity to whish you and your kind family a merry Christmas.

I want to refer my experience with the Plastic Surgery Equipe IRMA at Sant’Andrea Hospital in Rome. I underwent to a post-mastectomy breast reconstruction last 3rd March. I was impressed by professionalism, competence and kindness either from the chief Prof. Santanelli, then from Dr. Paolini, Dr. Longo and Dr. Angelini. Inspite of difficulties related to the procedure (Reconstruction with Latissimus Dorsi) and others occurred subsequently, probably due to drawbacks from chemotherapy I underwent one year agò, I alwayse felt safe in good hands, with a perfect, professional and warm care. I do consider this an example of of real Health Care excellence, not only for the highest competence but for the humanity of the phisicians I dealt with.

Taken from www.qsalute.it

Dear Prof. Santanelli,

I like to express my sincere gratitude for what, at highest professional levels, it has been done to solve my problem. Many thanks to the equipe, extraordinary, Dott. Renzi, Dott. Paolini, excellent, beautiful, agreeable residents.

Thanks from my heart to the nurses.

Sincerely Valentina

THANK YOU!!!!! Your art has lightened the hurdest problem of my life. I still have nice scars but I’m sure they will improve during the time. Thank you to your equipe IRMA also, which not for nothing has my mother name (death for cancer) it almost seams that she was pulling me thowards you, so prefessional and kind at the same time, I could never expect to be treated so good in an hospital, compliments also to nurses of the unit and thank you not to make me feel pain at all. It’s funny to say…but I save I nice memory.

Dear kind Professor,

I would like to thank you sincerely for your efficient artistry and availability to perform surgery on my daughter Beatrice. Today peace break through our family and we are hopefuls that all will go on fine.

I’m very grateful for the care you took with a lot of professionality and humanity.

Admiringly

Thanks a lot to Prof. Fabio Santanelli and to his equipe to allow my mother a second life through their competence and lovely care.

It has been a guinness procedure if you consider thet, to be honest, they have been 5 operations in a single stage!!! First the mastectomy and the xillary node dissetion then the breast reconstruction and the abdominoplasty etc.etc.

But the most important point has been the result: one year after the surgery the damed cancer seems defeated…

Thanks, thanks, thanks.

Good evening Prof. Santanelli, one more year (6 total) has passed by, and one more time on Christmas I’m pleased to wish my best feelings to you and your family. My respect for for you is neverending!

I’m pleased to send you, as a Christmas gift, one of my last poem, hoping you will enjoy it:

EMOTIONS

I was walking without a destination
a difficult itinerary, without warm.
Frozen body from cold
drag from wind.
Then at the skyline a sun appeared
that slowly, slowly came to warm me.
Sweet feeling to find again the heat
and let you sweetly be crudle.
Suddently a new sky opens,
my poor wounded shadow
again palpitate,
a new universe I did not know,
was riding me down.
I want to stop the time,
but it escaped,
I was small drop
could not stop the sea,
but too large
to be satisfyied of a little.

My best. Rossana

Dear prof. Santanelli,
I write you because I wish to thank you for what you did for me. I was told that during surgery there happen unusual and unaspected difficulties that only thanks to your experience, brightness and skill the surgical result was positive.
I’m also happy that I followed your suggestion to undergo a major procedure, challenging for my emotions; I hope, I’m leaving on my back the shock, the fear and the pain for the hillness; now I’m calm and I don’t feel mutilated.

I remember you in pleas.
Please feel my deep esteem and gratitude
Annamaria

Dear gentleman, good morning.

Who is writing is a woman that, exactley two years agò, passed for the first time the Sant’Andrea gate; following a battle against the Disease, tired, afraid, unhopeful but, an adjective among all: MUTILATED. Who is writing is a woman that, today, has found againg faith and joy to live with the perception of being again a “normal” person. The way was long and painful but the luck of this woman, my luck, has been to pass that gate: GROUND FLOOR – ROOM 5, the outpatient clinic of Dr. Renzi, professional and very kind, assisted by the sweet nurse, Miss Lucia. Today after two years and three surgical procedures, have the will, or the duty to say THANK YOU.

Thank you to Prof. Fabio Santanelli, whose technologic hands, miraculous I would say, gave me back what tha unfair fate, the Disease, stolen from me at only 40 years old. Stearing me at the mirrow and thinking at “before” and today, I do not realyze how, from a man hands can come out similar prodigious.

Thank you to Dr. Luca Renzi and Dr. Guido Paolini, always kind and at the same time professional, excellent combination of technique and humanity. Thank you to Dr.Matteo Amoroso, that the first night after surgery remained hours sitting beside me monitoring my blood pressure at worrysome low level. Thank you to Dr. Michael Sorotos, highly educated and lovely to relate with patients. Thank you to Dr. Brando Costantino, thank you to Dr. Antonella Fiorillo, thank you to Dr. Marco Pagnoni.

I hope I did not forget anybody and, if it happen, is only a forgetfulness, because such wonderful equipe, Prof. Santanelli staff is entirely composed by serious professionists, competent, human and comprehensive.

Unfortunatly other women are fighting and will fight my same battle, with the same pain, humiliations and frustrations that follows. Well, to these women, I whish to end up “into the hands” of doctors skillful in technique and heart, as it happens to me, because thank to them they will smile again.

Thank you very much for your help, sincerity and professionalism during the time as a patient at Sant’Andrea. I would reccomend you and your team to anyone who was in my position. Continue the good work, thank you once again.

Amanda

Dear Professor still today I’m in debt with you to have saved my leg where nobody succeded, top level plastic surgery, undoubt capacity and professionality. Thanks

To wonderful phisicians that gave me back my smile and willing to live.
To Prof. Santanelli,  dott. Bitonti,  dott. Longo.

In this moment, after I saw you again, I can only say a simple “thank you”… to me  you are angels still helping me… and today I celebrate my day with you!

Happy Easter to you and your families… with all of my empathy…

Dear Prof. F. Santanelli di Pompeo,

I just came back to work after a two months recovery. I feel much better now, the left breast shows less edema and is beginning to look much more like the other breast. My abdomen is less tense, I removed the elastic band and I am slowly taking my body back. I have some physical wounds, but my spirit, my soul are unharmed. I am grateful, as I have been able to overcome a critical moment of my life and that of my family, thanks to your skills and expertise. I want to thank you and your excellent team again for your generosity and understanding.
During my admission at your Plastic Surgery Unit at Sant’Andrea Hospital, I was carefully assisted and continuously monitored. I didn’t have any post-operative complications, all procedures were thoroughly respected, I am really happy.
In the hospital where I practice, I was welcomed back with love, affection and much surprise, curiosity. My colleagues look at me, they stare at my cleavage, and nothing has changed! I look fine, and when I explain the complex and sophisticated operation I underwent, everyone is astonished and speechless! I will meet with my senologist in a few days, and perhaps also with my plastic surgeon, they are very much looking forward to seeing me.
Dear Professor, words cannot describe how grateful I am, all I can say is thank you again, thank you from the heart.

Gabriella

Good morning I’m the patient M.F. you operated on me for a DIEP  on March 14, I would like to thank you  and tell you that I felt protected from all of your staff, you are really unique and I will thank you for the rest of my life for the LOVE and PASSION you put into your work, thanks from my heart. I hope you will read this messagge and hope to meet you soon to thank you personally as I’ve done with all of your staff. Professor I wish you a happy Easter with my love and regards Monica.

Dear Prof Fabio Santanelli di Pompeo, 

 
I can’t find the words to express my gratitude for your competence and professionalism in looking after a colleague in conditions of great discomfort and psycho-physical pain… Thank you! 
I wish to thank you on behalf of all the women who suffer and that have the luck to meet extraordinary doctors. Thank you again, for your supervision and care! The plastic surgery team you lead operates with great kindness and attention. 
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Best wishes for a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. 

Professor Santanelli
to say that you and your staff are great will be reductive. I do not know how to thank you all, from nurses to all the medical staff for recovering my female dignity and humanity you gave me only with a gaze or with a word  of sympathy when I was inpatient for a DIEP reconstruction on last March.

I apologize if I write you on Messenger , as an old friend, but I like to tell only one word THANK YOU PROFESSOR.

Also your distant and prestigious gaze that I knew, it hides lot of sweetness and humanity and much humor, even if at the first contact might seems the contrary, but I’ve got at once your great qualities.

Thanks to you and your staff

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Healing is a process that can be considered complete when, finally, you might recognize yourself into your own body, despite unavoidable changes...

In the last decades Plastic Surgery, has become part of the oncologic treatment protocol, as the importance of the reconstructive stage following resection of a diseased body part has been universally recognized. Concerning breast tumor, most advanced hospitals set up a “Breast Unit”, multidisciplinary functional unit composed by different specialists who cooperate to offer to the patient the best opportunity available from medical science, to contrast tumor disease and return to normal life.

There are several breast reconstructive procedures, even though expander and prosthesis is the most known. This web-site is dedicated to women undergoing mastectomy and willing to know all reconstructive opportunities. Main goal is to present “autologous” procedures using live tissues from the patient itself as a sort of “auto-transplant”. Advances in vascular microsurgery and in peri-operative patient care have allowed for outstanding steps forward to restore the female body image.

Once all aspects have been taken into proper consideration, a woman should be assisted during choice with broad information, evaluating pro and cons among any surgical procedure, so she can decide what is best for her.