Earlier this month, American Board of Cosmetic Surgery diplomates from all over the country headed to Las Vegas for the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery’s (AACS) 34th Annual Scientific Meeting to learn from colleagues, get insight into the latest cosmetic technology, and discuss how we can continue to evolve the field to better serve our patients.
It turns out that in this case, what happens in Vegas doesn’t have to stay in Vegas—we caught up with ABCS President, Dr. Alexander Sobel, to chat about his experience.
Why medical conferences like this are so important
“Annual meetings do far more than keep your surgeon current; they develop academic networks, foster camaraderie, and inspire surgeons who are routinely occupied with the demands of running a medical practices. Having attended the last ten consecutive meetings, I’ve found them to be an invaluable tool for keeping my personal practice up to speed on the latest and greatest in the industry and, in turn, ensuring I am providing patients with the very best care. It is also highly rewarding to share space with others who feel just as passionately as you do about your craft. I’m proud to work alongside these talented cosmetic surgeons.”
“In addition to workshops and courses, we have the opportunity to ‘shop around’ for new ways to help patients get the results they want in the exhibitor’s hall. Representatives and manufacturers of breast implants, specialty surgical tool companies, cosmetic tech, and more all converge on the space to demonstrate recent advancements and discuss their offerings. It’s a great time to see what’s available and how it can help us help our patients.”
How the Annual Scientific Meetings help further the field of cosmetic surgery
“When it comes to medicine, one of the greatest risks is stagnation—and as cosmetic surgeons, it is not only our job but our driving force to continue learning from each other, further advance the field, and incorporate new technologies to better serve patients.”
“Every year, an elite faculty gathers to exchange anatomic knowledge and procedural expertise with surgeons of all levels. This year showcased some of the latest technology, including everything from new and improved devices for non-surgical facial rejuvenation to advanced products to help your cosmetic surgeon provide safer, more consistent results. Valuable, live demonstrations were performed, courtesy of surgeons happy to share their time and expertise.”
“We also got a fascinating look at new techniques for liposuction, tummy tuck, and breast augmentation during the cadaver workshop. While it may sound morbid to those who aren’t in the medical industry, the greatest gift to a medical student is the donation of a person’s post-mortem body to study; the value of such a gift to an experienced surgeon is exponentially greater. This kind of course offers a unique opportunity to understand—and participate in—the latest, advanced cosmetic surgery techniques in a controlled environment.”
Furthering our commitment to patient safety
“Every year, the Annual Scientific Meeting focuses heavily on patient safety and what we as surgeons and innovators can do to provide optimal results with low risk of complications. This year featured many lectures and panel discussions intent on reducing the risk of even some of the scarcest complications in cosmetic surgery.”
“Highlights among these were Dr. Samir Pancholi’s presentation on Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma and its association with textured breast implants, and Dr. Julie Woodward’s renown expertise on safe cosmetic filler injection. I also enjoyed learning about the latest methods for minimizing risk with gluteal fat grafting, affectionately known as the ‘Brazilian Butt Lift.’ Ultimately, we all came away with more tools and information to provide our individual patients with safe, consistent outcomes.”
Highlighting the artistry of cosmetic surgery
“During this year’s Meeting, the idea of cosmetic surgery as art was a central concept, led by true artist-surgeon Dr. Peter Schmid—among others—and ‘real artists’ who recognize our need and are so generous to share their genius. This concept was the focus of many lectures, including Dr. Grant Hamlet’s presentation on The Female Adonis and Dr. John Millard’s artistic contextualization of high-definition body contouring.”
“This theme was particularly apparent in the non-invasive procedures workshop, which showcased many new techniques and devices. It’s fascinating to witness first-hand how powerful minimally invasive technology has become—and exciting to know we have more tools than ever to provide our patients with subtle, natural looking results or to artfully enhance surgical outcomes.”
“For surgeons, annual meetings sharpen their edge, fill their tanks, and fund their knowledge. This meeting afforded its attendees the best in all three. To quote meeting devotee Dr. Joe Niamtu: ‘There were guys at the bar talking about the lecture, and they didn’t even have meeting badges!'”