So what's got the cosmetic elite buzzing?
In a word, fat. "Studies are showing that fat transfer to the breast can be done safely," says Twin City plastic surgeon Joe Gryskiewicz. It may not provide as much volume as implants, but it certainly has a role to play, he says.
Las Vegas plastic surgeon Michael Edwards, MD agrees. "Fat is taking a great hold as more and more data show that it can be done safely," he says. "It is not something that will hide a breast cancer and it most certainly doesn't cause one and can be used in a variety of settings."
So who should consider fat grafting? Some surgeons may use it for women who do not want silicone gel implants. "You can build a beautiful breast with fat and they are very happy," he says. "The techniques are coming along well." Fat grafting can also help aid breast reconstruction and trouble-shoot certain complications associated with breast implants.
And with fat, comes stem cells. "There are a lot of them in fat," he says. "You can see a remarkable change in the quality and character of skin that was treated with radiation by injecting fat alone." This means we may not need all of the sophisticated methods to harvest stem cells from fat, he says.
Orange County plastic surgeon Al Aly is also a fan of fat. "There is a lot of talk about where you can put it such as using it in the breast more aggressively and using it in facelifts," Aly says. "It is almost becoming the norm to have fat injections done with the procedures that we do," he says. "Other research is focusing on how to make these injections more efficient and increase survival of the fat."
Fat removal was also a hot topic of discussion. New Jersey Plastic Surgeon Chris Godek shared his experience with HydraSolveTM Lipoplasty System www.hydrasolve.com that features a non-cutting, non-thrusting, target-tissue-specific method of fat removal. "HydrasolveTM combines natural saline solution with low levels of pressure and temperature, to liquefy only targeted fat tissue. Because fat tissue is liquefied, the cutting of fat by forceful thrusts of the cannula is no longer required. I have found that HydraSolveTM provides faster, smoother fat extraction for the surgeon, with a quicker recovery for patients."
Another hot topic at the meeting was Xeomin (incobotulinumtoxinA) from Merz, Gryskiewicz says. This latest-toxin-on-the- block has similar uses to BOTOX® and Dysport®, but it is naked (i.e devoid of any proteins). "Picture that you are climbing out of window and wearing a bathing suit, and your twin is doing the same, only she is wearing a snow suit,." Gryskiewicz says. "You will be a lot less bogged down." That is what the proteins can do and Xeomin has none. "You won't have problems with your body reacting to the proteins," he says.
On the device side, ThermiGen® Inc. www.thermigen.com introduced its Symphony RF technology that allows physicians to precisely locate an area for treatment, and then apply a specific dose of controlled radiofrequency energy to the targeted area. According to Los Angeles plastic surgeon Brian Kinney, "The ThermiGen system controls the temperature of the handpiece tip that is in contact with the patient. It increases safety and delivers more reliable clinical outcomes for wrinkle reduction, body contouring and skin tightening."
As expected, a lot of attention surrounded the topics of pain management, wound care and scar prevention. Neodyne® Biosciences www.neodynebio.com launched their patented Embrace Advanced Scar Therapy, a new approach to scar management. This breakthrough technology includes a simple disposable applicator that consists of an adhesive silicone sheet that is applied to an incision to help prevent collagen proliferation and minimize the formation of scars.
Xarelto® (rivaroxaban) www.xarelto.com also made its debut. This prescription drug is used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, and may be helpful to prevent complications in abdominoplasty and extensive body lift procedures. Exparel® www.exparel.com was also discussed for pain control. This single injection of local analgesic utilizes bupivacaine in combination with DepoFoam® to control post op pain for 72 hours without some of the side effects of other medications.
Another interesting surgical product was introduced from www.Galateasurgical.com . Their viscoelastic GalaFLEX mesh is an absorbable material that is used for breast lifts, facelifts, and other applications to reinforce soft tissues. The mesh gets absorbed naturally within 12 - 18 months.
ASAPS members also continued to stress the importance and safety benefits of choosing a board-certified surgeon. www.surgery.org
- Additional reporting by Denise Mann
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