The annual meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery was held in New Orleans May 16–21 and brought together a wide range of members, national experts, and international thought leaders. The meeting got underway with the always entertaining and controversial “Hot Topics” panel. This year the presentations that garnered much interest were the muscle building body contouring product Emsculpt, the new neuromodulator Juveau that is set to compete with Botox, and patient safety concepts dealing with gluteal fat grafting.
The primary mission of ASAPS is member education and with this goal in mind, program chair Dr. Jamil Ahmad put together a world-class faculty that covered all aspects of aesthetic surgery. The standout panels were a patient safety overview on gluteal fat grafting featuring national experts Dr. Simeon Wall, Jr. and Dr. Dan DelVecchio. Reaching the membership through these interactive panels allows national leaders to convey important safety tips, demonstrate refined techniques, and introduce new equipment. A second standout panel dealt with updates from the recent FDA hearings on Breast Implant Associated – Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). Task Force leaders Dr. Bill Adams and Dr. Melinda Haws spent countless hours preparing for testimony at the FDA hearings in March 2019. The support of the ASAPS leadership and dedication of at least 20 members who traveled to Washington, D.C. to testify provided valuable information to the FDA and established ASAPS as a leader in patient safety and public education as the controversial BIA-ALCL and Breast Implant Illness (BII) were discussed at the highest levels. Dr. Tracy Pfeifer held court with the International vs. United States Global Aesthetics Bowl. Both sides provided insightful solutions to the cases proffered by an expert group and Dr. Marissa Tenebaum from St. Louis performed brilliantly for the U.S. side. The international team pulled a last-minute comeback to take the title back from the U.S. after several intense rounds of problem solving and creative solutions.
After a robust first day of panels, society updates, and viewing industry exhibits, the Presidential Opening Ceremony was kicked off with a traditional New Orleans second-line Mardi Gras style parade from the convention center to Generations Hall. Led by outgoing society president, Dr. Grant Stevens, the membership traipsed down the street with a band, beads, and good-natured revelry. The reception allowed members to sample a wide variety of traditional New Orleans fare and the musical entertainment while catching up with old colleagues and networking with new ones.
At the ASAPS Board luncheon, outgoing President Dr. W. Grant Stevens recapped the strides made during his tenure and turned over the gavel to new President, Dr. Charles Thorne from New York. ASAPS past-President and long-time mentor to many society members, Dr. Robert Singer, was recognized with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Singer’s remarkable career, contributions to the field of Plastic Surgery, and humorous anecdotes were celebrated by ASAPS and ASERF leadership along with a full room of active members who came out to support Dr. Singer in force. New board members, Dr. Trent Douglas and Dr. Marissa Tenebaum were approved by the voting membership to relieve outgoing members Dr. Clyde Ishii and Dr. Joseph Hunstand.
The Exhibit Hall was alive with industry as vendors from around the world demonstrated the latest in lasers, body contouring devices, anti-aging treatments, and surgical instruments. The ever-popular small group topics were well attended as hot topics were debated during breaks from the educational programming. The Evolus booth was buzzing with excitement surrounding the launch of their flagship Botox competitor – Juveau.
Throughout the meeting, members taught a wide array of educational courses, practice development courses, and continued to evolve the way social media is used among plastic surgeons. As the meeting wound down, friendships were renewed, new contacts were established, and promises were made to see everyone again in Las Vegas for The Aesthetic Meeting 2020!!
Dr. Trent Douglas is a private practice plastic surgeon in San Diego, California, an active ASAPS member and the newest member of the ASAPS Board of Directors.
Illustration by April Brust