The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic surgery meeting 2014
I was recently at the annual meeting of the American society for aesthetic plastic surgery (ASAPS) in San Francisco to see the latest cosmetic surgery techniques 2014.
There are about 6500 Board certified plastic surgeons in the US. Of those, only about 2000 are members of the American society for aesthetic surgery (ASAPS). This select group of plastic surgeons are those whose practice is primarily devoted to aesthetic plastic surgery- cosmetic surgery. Plastic surgeons from all over the world go to the meeting to learn the latest techniques in cosmetic surgery.
Fat injections to the face
The concept of fat injections, and by definition almost, stem cells, continues to be widely popular.
Plastic surgeons are increasingly injecting fat into the face for facial rejuvenation during a face lift. The fat seems to stay in the face for some patients and not for others. Cause unknown.
Fat injections into breasts
fat injections into the breast continues to be problematic. A recent study shows that fat injection by itself does not cause breast cancer. But… if you have a breast cancer, the fat injection will make the migration of the cells faster and increase the chance of metastatic cancer- not good. Specially when 1 out of 9 women in the US is going to get cancer, getting metastatic cancer is a death sentence.
Fat injections into joints
The most exciting reports for fat/stem cell injections come from studies where fat is being injected into knee joints that have suffered injury. The torn cartilage actually seems to heal itself. Studies are being done now to reproduce the early study which cam from Pakistan…
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis or DVT is a cause of pulmonary emboli which is the number one cause of death in cosmetic plastic surgery patients. Several protocols have been identified for dealing with patients at high risk for DVT. These are patients with previous history of DVT, women who are smokers, and women on birth control. Sitting in a particular position for a long time will also increase the risk.
Putting patients on blood thinners before the surgery was widely advocated as the thing to do. It now turns out the the risk of bleeding during the surgery outweighs the risk of actually getting a PE.
Bacteria around breast implants
Bacteria have long been thought of as being contributors to capsular contracture- a condition which occurs for unknown reasons around some breast implants. The bio-film, a film of bacteria that covers the implants was thought to be the main contributor to this “chronic infection”. Now it may be that the bio-film does nothing or may actually protect against the contracture! Essentially, no one knows.
Take home message
I have rarely come back from a medical conference more confused that when I went there. It seems that the science of cosmetic surgery is in a period of flux. What we thought was true, isn’t, and what was not true is not true or is true.
What was it that former defense secretary Rumsfeld said recently,
“Reports that say there’s — that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things that we know that we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”