I just returned from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons Meeting in Seattle, Washington. The ASPS is the world’s largest organization of board certified plastic surgeons, so it’s meeting draws experts from around the world.
Attending the meeting is a bit of a manic state: it is truly a three ring circus, with 2 to three major auditoria presenting scientific and clinical papers and symposia, side by side with exhibits and courses.
I have learned to go prepared with specific agendas and plan my time to hear the talks and see the exhibits on my list. At the same time, I know (and hope for) the unexpected will catch my attention, and present a new learning opportunity. That really is the essence of these conventions: the opportunity to learn from experts and colleagues, exchange ideas, and see what advances are on the horizon.
New techniques and technology may sound intriguing in our journals and other media: we plastic surgeons are bombarded with new devices, lotions, potions, and evolving techniques. The ASPS is a great venue for closer scrutiny and separating hype from substance.
One area of attention is fat grafting for augmenting contours, adding volume to the face, breasts and buttocks. Although there is a great deal of interest (and many presentations, courses, and specialized devices), we still are learning, and have a way to go before the techniques are consistent and reliable.