Fall meeting AAFPRS
I just got back from the Fall meeting of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS). This is our big annual meeting. I always look forward to this meeting. It is a chance to see the most respected teachers in our specialty, meet with my peers and visit with friends that I have made from around the world.
As I get older, for me, the meeting is more about the great friends I have made in my speciality. We share common training, backgrounds and interests; yet we come from all over. From attending at least two meetings per year plus sharing the podium on one or more major teaching courses, we really get to know each other. These are the people I can pull aside and get serious answers to clinical and patient questions that might not otherwise be found in the medical literature. For example, there was a panel on facelifts. There were experts presenting short flap minimal facelifts, deep plane facelifts, bi-planer SMAS facelifts and the new SmartliftTM. The Smartlift is really a standard facelift using the smartlipo cannula to assist the surgical dissection. So, am I doing the best lift for my patients? From what I saw and conferred with other top doctors, I know I am. In reality folks, there is no one specific lift for every patient. Younger patients with minimal jowls and minimal excess neck skin would benefit from a mini-facelift. More facial sagging requires a more intensive SMAS treatment.
If I come away with as little as five pointers from a meeting, I feel it was successful. Part of the definition of “doctor” is to teach. And that is what we do, we teach our peers, our residents and sometimes we teach our teachers as well. I usually speak at this meeting but this year was different. I was asked to speak but I now have twin 11 month old babies. So, I elected to attend and not spend my off time over the past few months preparing lectures for the meeting. As a matter of fact, last year was the first fall meeting of the AAFPRS that I missed in 21 years. My babies were due in 2 weeks, and no way would I chance that happening with me being away.
I did receive one huge compliment. I was in the elevator with a young facial plastic surgeon. He pointed to my name badge and said “that purple ribbon is certainly a special one that not just anyone can wear.” This was the ribbon that said “Past President AAFPRS.” As past president, I also walk around with pride that the AAFPRS is thriving and fulfilling its primary mission: to teach Facial Plastic Surgery.