In October, I traveled to the big yearly meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. It was in Chicago this year. I love Chicago, but I did not get out much. There was plenty to see inside, including lectures and exhibit hall vendors.
For me, going the different instrument maker’s booths is like going to the toy store. There are so many shiny and expensive things to play with. Some of them I actually needed, so I got a few. I also like going to the book seller to see volumes written by speakers whom I have just seen. Plastic Surgery is a small field, so it is great to interact with leaders in the field whom I respect then get their book to consolidate their teaching. One example would be a course and accompanying text on facial implants for the cheeks, temples, and jaws, as well as the chin. Conversely, I saw presentations that may have appealed to some surgeons, but were not for me. After all, there is more than one way to skin a [ fill in your body part of choice here].
It is important for surgeons of all types to continually update their techniques and knowledge base, or they will be practicing 30+ year out of date surgery by the time they retire. Important advances, however, must be distinguished, however, from what might not be such a good idea. It is always disconcerting to see a panel on how to fix problems with a surgery that was all the rage 5 years ago – often given by the same speakers. Accordingly, I try to strike a balance by providing effective techniques with a proven record of safety and longevity.
Mark D. Wigod, MD, FACS, providing Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery to Boise, Meridian, Treasure Valley and Southeastern Idaho.