Go On A Learning Curve



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In the decade I have focused on the medi-cosmetic arena as a media specialty, attending education/networking gatherings of industry professionals has been a major highlight of my own learning.

With each year I have also witnessed a rapid evolution in the breadth and depth of new ideas disseminated among attendees.

To this observer, these ideas are borne of age-old knowledge honed by rigorous education and training, lit with passion to find ever-new ways to make the patient experience and aesthetic outcomes better.

The first such conference I attended that lit my own imagination was Cosmetex 2011, held in Adelaide.

I remember the event clearly, right down to the fact I brought stilettos to keep up appearances but was so foot-sore after a day of running between sessions and generally around the convention space that I limped to a store in Rundle St Mall during a break to buy a pair of flats.

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Being amid that buzz, and my first major exposure to this genre of gathering, left a lasting impression.

One of the things that struck me was the lack of cultural cringe. Cosmetex 2011 attracted speakers and visitors of international renown but the home-grown contingent were equally the superstar talent on the marquee.

It’s a generally accepted fact that Australian medicos are and Australian medical research/practice is world-leading and renowned, but as a nation we still have this weird “aw shucks” factor of not stepping up to the plate to own it. That’s my opinion, anyway.

The mutual level of admiration and respect of visiting and local delegates at Cosmetex 2011 was thus very revealing and gratifying to me as a bystander, and so much was learned by all, besides.

That level of learning and striving for excellence has been maintained every year since. And so we approach the 2017 session, to be held at The Hilton, Sydney, September 14-16.

In the meantime, one of this year’s visiting keynote speakers, Dr Joan Vandeputte, shares a preview of his topic.

Dr Vandeputte began his surgical training at the Leuven University Hospital, Belgium, and was a resident in plastic surgery in Bruges, Belgium, and Nottingham, UK.

He is a plastic surgeon in the Oudenaarde General Hospital, where he founded the division of plastic surgery in 1995.

His private practice is entirely devoted to minimally invasive cosmetic procedures.

Dr Vandeputte’s topic for Cosmetex 2017 is: Filler With Benefits: Extracting Volumetric Magic from your HA and Calcium Hydroxylapatite Syringes:


For Belgian plastic surgeons, Australia is a huge reference. Some of my peers still marvel about the years in research – the microsurgery, or plastic surgery in general Down Under – as part of their surgical training or fellowship.

For me, Cosmetex 2017 will be my first encounter with the Australian industry. I am looking forward to sharing some of my experiences in aesthetic plastic surgery and, even more, to learn about the marvellous work of Australian experts and that of other speakers from around the globe.

Lipofilling has emerged as a powerful tool in our armory these last few decades.

It made us aware how important volume deficiency of volume loss treatment can be from the aesthetic point of view.

Like many, I struggled with the aggressiveness of early techniques; the complexity of the indications and the unpredictability results, varying from excellent to frankly disappointing.

By improving harvesting, purification and injection techniques, we are nowadays able to do much better.

In the face, lipofilling is one of our essential assets for surgical patients. For breast augmentation, it may well evolve into the best and safest option by the next decade, and so many other body contouring indications have already been established.

For every patient who is concerned to the extent that surgery is an option, there are so many more who do accept injections but stop short of an operation.

The search for alternatives to autologous fat is continuing.

For many patients, injections are not only least invasive option but also simply the best one.

Fillers, designed for intradermal injections, proved to be excellent options for deep volumising in sensitive areas such as the orbital margins.

Special cross-linking technology gave us hyaluronic acid fillers, which resist unintended deformation, for deep injection.

Collagen induction, especially in the immediate subdermal plane, is not only an alternative but also a valuable complement for multiplane treatments. Resorbable fillers, that do not migrate and do not attract water, are already on the market in some countries and numerous products are being developed.

One of the most commonly performed, but far from simple aesthetic operations, is upper blepharoplasty.

One of the parameters influencing the choice of technique and adjunctive procedures is the position of the lateral aspects of the eyebrows.

I abandoned endoscopic forehead lifting completely in aesthetic patients because of its morbidity and unpredictability in the long term.

Thread lifting of the tails of the eyebrows with braided polyester threads that are sutured to the surgically exposed, deep temporal fascia, proved to be an extremely useful adjunctive procedure to be performed in the same surgical session.

Cosmetex will be a great opportunity to meet colleagues, active in the aesthetic field, from all over your great country. Sharing my knowledge will be a pleasure. I am eager to learn from you all and from the experts that you attracted from all over the world.


By Jenni Gilbert

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