We are delighted to introduce to you to our next Expert of the Month, Ms Anna De Leo. Anna dedicated her career to guiding her patients throughout their plastic surgery journey. She strongly believes in patient education and is known for using unusual educational tools like fashion and visual arts.
What plastic surgery treatments do you specialise in?
I do plastic reconstructive & aesthetic surgery. In general, my patients request breast reshaping, abdominal reconstruction after pregnancies or weight loss, and facial rejuvenation.
How has your Italian educational background shaped your practice in the UK?
Italian medical education has a closer patient-doctor relationship. I am genuine and like to talk with my patients. To undergo plastic surgery is a major decision and bespoke support and a close relationship with your surgeon is essential. Also, Italian art culture has helped me study anatomical landmarks.
What inspired you to start the ADL Synergy project?
During the pandemic, many patients were trying to obtain information about plastic surgery online and were left feeling confused. ADL is short for Art Develops Love. I have always been very involved in patients' education, and during this time, I felt like we needed a different way to explain plastic surgery. Visual culture and technology have changed the practice. It was a time for surgeons to adapt to a new form of expression. That is how the ADL Synergy project started.
There is a lot of pink going on. What does the colour mean to you and possibly to your patients?
Pink consists of all the passion and energy of red and all the purity of white creating a colour full of tenderness and affection. It is considered a renaissance colour by many artists, designers, and fashion stylists. To me, pink is a colour representing plastic surgery, women, breast cancer awareness, and wonder and creativity. I love it! It cheers me and my patients up.
What do you see as essential steps of post-operative care when recovering from breast surgery?
Post-operative care is an integral part of the surgery. What I see as essential is rest and wearing the right compression bra. Post-operative bras protect you from gravity and help to reduce swelling. My favourite LIPOELASTIC bra is the PI perfect for the first four weeks. I love the pink hooks! After the elegant PI premium. It gives my patients a chic look.
What features do you look for when choosing a compression garment for your patients?
Compression is part of the treatment and that is why I always make sure my patients wear a good-quality compression garment. The fabric needs to be designed to last and be used constantly for several weeks. It must be elastic, compressive enough, and cannot be causing any discomfort like rubbing on the wound. I also pay attention to colour and design of the garment. I want my patients to feel great even during their recovery.
Post-operative care begins immediately after surgery; how do you educate your patients on that?
A big part of my consultation is dedicated to post-operative instructions. I strongly believe in prevention and want my patients to participate in their post-op care. This can help reduce bad scarring and other healing issues. After the surgery, patients have frequent personal follow-ups with their nurse.
Ms Anna De Leo currently practices privately in London, Rome, and Palermo and is available for appointments.