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Bariatric Rehabilitation Congress

One of the most interesting booths here at the International Federation for Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders in Hamburg is that of a small Danish exhibitor that specializes in bariatric wheelchairs, beds, mattresses and other devices.

This company, with the name XXL Rehab, has evidently put considerable research and expertise into the development of their products – and while I have seen many such devices and mobility aids before, I was particularly impressed by the considerable thought, research and testing that has gone into this particular line of products.

Indeed, the long conversation I had with the young and most enthusiastic owner Keld Jørgensen, was absolutely delightful and educational.

Although this company has yet to expand in North America (they’re still working at expanding in Europe), there is a clear need for such products – certainly not something you can find in your local mobility or medical aid stores.

Interestingly, XXL Rehab is organising a Bariatric Rehabilitation Congress (BRC 2011) in Copenhagen in November, and, from what I see on the program, this two-day meeting (Nov. 9-10, 2011) will certainly be a most interesting meeting for any European colleagues interested in topics like patient and provider safety, skin care and hygiene, exercise interventions, seating and handling and other relevant issues.

Hamburg, Germany


  1. So nice to learn about colleagues overseas working to promote the mobility and function for patients with obesity. Manufacturers and vendors of bariatric mobility devices are an important part of the team. Thanks for sharing resources from your travels Arya.

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  2. Yes, this is useful stuff.

    Medical equipment should come in different sizes. When I was in the hospital a couple of years ago and temporarily had to use a commode frame over the toilet and a walker (VERY temporarily, luckily for me), they were too small. The commode frame was especially heinous. It dug into my – at the time – very sensitive hip and was absolutely excruciating. I had to use it anyway. They didn’t have a bigger one. They were able to find me a wider than usual walker at the hospital, but the one I’d rented for home use didn’t have enough room for my hips and the rental company didn’t have a bigger one. Luckily, I was able to switch to a cane three days after the surgery and didn’t ever really need the walker at home.

    Now, I can imagine the size you’d picture me being from this description, but you’re probably overestimating. This photo was taken around the time of the surgery. Yes, I have wide hips. However, I’m not that unusually large. Top 25% size-wise, perhaps? Hardly a statistical outlier.

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  3. That really is him in a fat suit, isn’t it? I didn’t recognize him – thought it was just some random person from the conference. I should have known better. There are no actual fat people at obesity conferences!

    Maybe that’s how the manufacturer illustrates that the equipment is proportioned for fat people? That fat suit is just a big belly, like many large men would have. No hips and butt. My pear-shaped, under 40-BMI self is probably still out of luck. That equipment wouldn’t necessarily work for someone like me, let alone someone shaped like me who’s 100+ pounds heavier. Some of us are wider side to side than back to front!

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  4. @DeeLeigh: Actually the suit does have large hips, thighs, breasts, belly, flanks, bottom, etc. – but more importantly, even the equipment is remarkable in how it was designed and tested with input and expertise from BMI 60+ patients – and you may be interested in knowing that the equipment actually adjusts to various body shapes (e.g. whether the fat is more on the inside or the outside of your thighs). The equipment even ‘grows’ and ‘shrinks’ with the user – this is really high-end stuff!

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  5. That sounds very useful, but I have to wonder if it’s worth the cost.

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to have regular medical equipment that’s a little bigger? Maybe even just make all of it a bit bigger so that as the equipment naturally wears out and is replaced, it can be replaced with newer versions that are sized more appropriately for modern people? After all, we’re taller as well as heavier than people were in the past, and wouldn’t it be nice to have a supply of stuff (at least in hospitals) that comes in different sizes?

    I keep hearing that fat people are costing the medical systems lots of money. Most of of don’t need super-expensive special equipment. We just need stuff that’s a bit larger and a bit sturdier. I mean, people my size are as common as dirt, we live pretty much just as long as thin people, and we’re not going to disappear from the human population, ever.

    All that I needed to make me comfortable were a commode and walker that were a couple of inches wider than the standard ones. There are tall people out there who could benefit in the same way from equipment that’s proportioned to be a bit higher. It’s just a matter of providing equipment for a realistic range of sizes, rather than for an average or ideal human. I mean, as I found out to my discomfort, the standard equipment right now doesn’t even work for people who are a little bit fatter than average.

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