Mark Your Calendar

Registration is under way for Plastic Surgery 2005: The Premier Educational Experience, to be held September 24–28, 2005, at McCormick Place Lakeside Center in Chicago. The annual meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) will expand on last year’s programs and activities. To make this year’s meeting even more comprehensive, ASPS will partner with the American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses (ASPSN) in one exhibit hall.

The Plastic Surgery 2005 educational program’s mission is to offer practitioners and other health care professionals a well-rounded curriculum based on the latest information in plastic and reconstructive surgery. The program’s goals are to facilitate higher levels of physician competencies, improve health care delivery, foster the highest level of patient safety, and further advance the specialty of plastic surgery. The event is also a great opportunity to network with old and new friends.

This year’s exhibition will feature companies specializing¬†in lasers, instruments, cosmetics, skin-care products, computer software, Internet services, wellness, practice management, publishing, and ancillary services. An extended 11¼2-hour lunch break will provide additional time to explore the exhibit hall.

For additional information, or to register, visit www.plasticsurgery.org.


Plastic Surgery Gets a Thumbs-Up

A study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal has found that plastic surgery patients were not only satisfied with their surgery, but they also experienced a decrease in the frequency of negative body-image emotions in social situations after surgery.

“The study suggests that patients who invest their time and money in cosmetic procedures do experience lasting improvement in body image,” says Foad Nahai, MD, an investigator in the study. “Patients did not experience a worsening of depressive symptoms or have other negative emotional outcomes. This suggests, for example, that patients expecting to like their nose better after rhinoplasty will likely be very satisfied.”

David B. Sarwer, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and his colleagues, studied patients from eight cosmetic surgery practices across the country before surgery and 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery. They found that 87% of respondents reported satisfaction with postoperative outcomes. One year after surgery, 97% of patients continued to report that they would recommend surgery to others, and 93% indicated that they would have the surgery again.

All emotional improvements were maintained 12 months after surgery.


FDA Approves No-Surgery
Facelift Procedure

A noninvasive facelift procedure that does not require general anesthesia or surgery has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The procedure, called contour thread lift, involves making tiny incisions along the hairline and inserting needles threaded with barbed sutures to grab the sagging skin and pull it tight.

“Once the threads are placed, they have little cogs or suture-related hooks that grab the skin,” says Michael Kaminer, MD, of Skin Care Physicians, Chestnut Hill, Mass. “And once placed, what I can do is slide the skin into the position that I want while the patient looks into the mirror and give them the amount of lift or tightening they’re looking for, all in about an hour.”

According to Kaminer, the best candidates for the contour thread lift procedure are those who have minimal signs of aging. Kaminer says that patients with major signs of aging who want to restore their youthful appearance would require traditional plastic surgery.


Valleylab Acquires Vivant Medical

Valleylab, a division of Tyco HealthCare, announced the acquisition of Vivant Medical Inc in a transaction valued at an estimated $66 million cash at close, with an additional $35 million to be paid in the future.

“This partnership addresses a tremendous unmet clinical need in the global marketplace,” says Scott Drake, president of Valleylab. “The combination of Valleylab and Vivant Medical offers interventional radiologists, surgeons, and cancer patients worldwide the most comprehensive portfolio of technology and therapies to improve clinical outcomes.”

Valleylab, a leader in ablative therapy products, currently markets the Cool-tip™ radiofrequency (RF) technology and the VivaWave™ microwave ablation system for soft-tissue treatment. The acquisition of the VivaWave system will allow Valleylab to offer both RF and microwave treatments.

“We are excited that Valleylab will be the company to move our innovations to market,” says Rod Young, CEO of Vivant Medical. “With their existing infrastructure and strong commitment to provide energy-based solutions for clinical challenges, Valleylab will take our ablative technologies to the next level.”


Give the Gift of Plastic Surgery

Having trouble figuring out what gift to buy for your graduate? Peter Geldner, MD, of the Geldner Center, Chicago, says that giving the gift of plastic surgery might be just the thing. When many students go to college, they start a new life in a new place with new friends—and they want to feel secure in their own skin.

According to Geldner, some teens see plastic surgery as the answer to all their problems. He notes that teens should be emotionally ready for a change that is often irreversible and that they should be aware of the risks and complications involved with surgery.


PhotoMedex Merges with ProCyte

PhotoMedex Inc and ProCyte Corp have announced that ProCyte shareholders ap-proved a merger with PhotoMedex in a stock-for-stock transaction.

“We are gratified to have received support of both companies’ stockholders in approving this merger,” says Jeff O’Donnell, president and CEO of PhotoMedex. “The important work of integrating the two companies is well under way. We look forward to operating a profitable health care company that continues to gain market share in the dermatology and surgical products markets.”

Under the terms of the agreement, PhotoMedex will issue approximately 10.5 million shares of its common stock, and will exchange 0.6622 shares for each outstanding share of ProCyte common stock. The combined company will operate under the name “PhotoMedex” and will continue to trade on the Nasdaq exchange.


AAFPRS Provides Safety Guidelines

The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) urges pa-tients to make informed choices before they undergo facial plastic surgery. Also, AAFPRS recommends that all surgeries be performed by a Board-certified facial plastic surgeon.

“The AAFPRS is committed to ensuring patients make educated decisions when undergoing facial plastic surgery,” says Steven Pearlman, AAFPRS president. “Patients should only consider seeing a Board-certified surgeon, should always verify credentials, and should have a complete understanding of the surgery, including the risks and benefits.”

Some tips from the AAFPRS include: understand the plastic surgeon’s Board certification, verify the surgeon’s credentials, and ask for referrals from people who have undergone facial plastic surgery.

For additional information or to find a list of certified facial plastic surgeons, visit the AAFPRS Web site at www.facemd.org.


Number of Weight-Loss Surgeries Quadruples

A study conducted by the US Health and Human Services Department’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has found that the number of Americans who have undergone weight-loss surgery more than quadrupled between 1998 and 2002, from 13,386 to 71,733. According to the study, part of the increase is driven by a tenfold increase in operations on patients between the ages of 55 and 64.

“This study clearly shows another side of the challenge that America’s obesity epidemic poses to the nation’s health-care system,” says Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, AHRQ director. “In the absence of more effective means of preventing obesity, the demand for surgery and its costs will continue to increase.”

To be considered medically eligible for weight-loss surgery, a patient must have a body mass index greater than 40 (or greater than 35 with serious obesity-related complications, such as type 2 diabetes or obstructive sleep apnea).

According to lead study author William E. Encinosa, PhD, approximately 395,000 Americans between the ages of 65 and 69 will be medically eligible to have weight-loss surgery this year. This number could increase by approximately 20%, to 475,000, by 2010.


AACS Announces Plans for Hospital in Dubai

Construction is under way on the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS) Hospital in Dubai Healthcare City (United Arab Emirates), which is poised to become one of the world’s leading centers for plastic surgery.

The AACS partnered with Dubai Healthcare City to create the complex, which will include academic facilities and a conference center, in addition to the plastic surgery hospital.

According to Jeffrey Knezovich, executive vice president of the AACS, one of the first events scheduled after the hospital’s completion is the World Congress on Liposuction in 2007. This leading-edge event will be attended by international leaders to share advances in liposuction procedures and technology.

“By 2007, most of our operations will be up and running,” says Jeehan Qadir, MD, of the AACS Hospital. “We will then be fully able to organize, support, and conduct the World Congress on Liposuction. At that time, we will be able to conduct live surgery workshops.”

Construction of the AACS Hospital is scheduled to be completed by the middle of next year.