The 13th ASEAN Congress of Plastic Surgery was held at the Sheraton Chaing Mai Hotel, Chiang Mai, Thailand last October 16 – 18, 2006. The theme of the conference was “The Cutting Edge in Plastic Surgery and Charm of the North”. In attendance were plastic and reconstructive surgeons from around the world, most of us from the Asian nations. Among the topics discussed were Breast Reduction, Breast Reconstruction, the Personal Approach to Total Facial Rejuvenation, Body Sculturing, Rhinoplasty & Blepharoplasty. There are many new developments in the field of plastic surgery and there are always many things plastic surgeons can learn from one another during these international conferences. Indeed, it is important for doctors to always keep abreast of these techniques and developments and one way of doing this is by regularly attending these conferences.
The invited speakers at the Congress were plastic surgeons from Thailand, United States of America, Taiwan R.O.C., Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, Austria, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Switzerland, Israel and Italy. As the various topics were discussed by these surgeons, it was interesting to note the differences and commonalities in the practice of plastic surgery in the different countries. For example, since 1992, plastic surgeons from the United States have only been able to use silicone gel implants under certain conditions such as for the purposes of reconstruction after mastectomy. In contrast, silicone gel implants, which many of the American surgeons prefer over the saline implants they are allowed to use, are widely used in Asian countries such as the Philippines. Thus, patients who prefer the silicone gel implants often have to travel to countries where these are used to have their surgery.
Another example of differences would be the type of rhinoplasty (nose) surgery which is commonly done in the different countries. While nose surgery in the United States is predominantly for reduction, in the Philippines as well as other Asian countries, augmentation rhinoplasty or the nose lift would be the more common procedure. Thus, when deciding to have these procedures done, it is important to consider the experience the plastic surgeon has. Asian doctors usually have more experience in augmentation, and if considering having reduction rhinoplasty done in an Asian country, a plastic surgeon who has had training in countries like the United States is the preferred option.
The 13 ASEAN Congress featured scientific sessions, with some of the world’s leading plastic surgeons providing expert presentation panels and discussion groups in almost every field of plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. Among the plastic surgeons who spoke at the 13th ASEAN Congress of Plastic Surgery were the following:
From the United States of America, Dr. Foad Nahai lectured on a variety of topics, including the Personal Approach to Total Facial Rejuvenation, Augmentation Mammoplasty, Prevention and Management of Complications in Aesthetic Surgery and The Cutting Edge in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Other speakers from the United States were Dr. Mutaz Habal, who spoke on the Controversies with Treatment of Crooked Heads, Dr. Reid Hansen, on Breast Reconstruction with Latissimus Dorsi Flap, Dr. Gregory Evans, on Mastopexy techniques and Dr. Kenneth Salyer, on Lessons Learned in 36 Years of Craniofacial Surgery. From Australia, Dr. David J. David, spoke on the Past, Present & Future of Craniofacial Surgery.
On the topic of Body Sculpturing, Dr. Yeap Choong Lieng presented Liposelection, The Revolutionary Technique, Dr. Gwendy Aniko spoke about Water-Jet Assisted Liposuction, and Dr. Benjamin Ascher discussed Lipolysis by External Ultrasounds. Speakers for the topic of Rhinoplasty were Dr. Florencio Lucero from the Philippines, and Dr. Montri Kitmanee and Dr. Yu-Ray Chen.
These are just some of the many topics which were presented. I and the other Congress participants greatly benefitted from the sessions during this congress as the presentors generously shared their experiences and techniques with their collegues.