I Never Stop Learning

I just returned from an exciting weekend in Richmond, Virginia learning about new advances in facial cosmetic surgery. Dr. Niamtu, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who offers his live surgery course bi-annually, gave many pointers on various procedures such as: Browlift, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), facelift, mini-facelift, necklift, Botox, fillers, mole removal, and facial CO2 laser resurfacing.

The live surgery format is very helpful, because the doctors can stand around the patient and observe some of the techniques that he employs, and perhaps integrate them into their own methods. As for me, his technique is very similar to mine, but I was still able to take away little nuances which I will utilize and start to perform. For example, he is a firm believer that full headwraps are not necessary for several days after a facelift. The pull of the underlying tissues and skin acts as a basic headwrap, which facilitates compression of the wound. I now only headwrap my patients for 24 hours instead of 4 days. The practice makes sense and is undoubtedly more convenient for the patients who don’t have to be wrapped tight like a mummy after facial cosmetic surgery.

Another new and exciting development are the injectables. There is a product called Kybella (deoxycholic acid) which after injecting will dissolve fat under the skin over several days. This substance is quite spectacular. I saw one before and after photo on a patient who had it injected in her neck (a common problem area for many), and Kybella provided marked improvement in that area. This is quite remarkable and I will incorporate this into the practice for those people who harbor a little extra fat in the neck and are not candidates for a neck lift. This product does not treat excess skin, so its use is primarily designated for the 30-40 year old who is wanting to tighten the neck, but does not have enough skin laxity to pull for a lift.

In addition to the Kybella, I picked up pointers on both Botox and filler injections. Besides the standard forehead, crow’s feet, and angry 11’s, I am now going to branch out into injecting the neck for those stubborn vertical bands in the neck known as “platysmal bands”, lines around the lips, and injecting into people with large jaw muscles to shrink them and keep them from protruding. As far as fillers, I will incorporate injecting tear trough hollowing (the area under the eyes next to the nose which “hollows out” over time, injecting lips for people who want them more full, and injecting frown lines around the lips to turn a frown into a smile.

Well there you have it folks. Another facial cosmetic surgery meeting, another great weekend of learning. Hope to see you soon for a consultation about your face. Don’t be afraid. And who knows, you might learn something from it.

Thanks for reading.

Dr. Kim

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