The future of cosmetic medicine

With Botox available at the mall and laser-hair removal offered at the neighborhood nail salon how can patients make sure they are getting safe and effective procedures? The future of Cosmetic Medicine will be discussed by leading experts at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) being held at the San Diego Convention Center May 2-6, 2008.

"Cosmetic Medicine: Embracing the Future" will be moderated by Robert Singer, MD, and will include Renato Saltz, MD, Richard D'Amico, MD, Roxanne Guy, MD (Mentor Corporation, Allergan and ColBar LifeScience), and Rod Rohrich, MD.

According to recent ASAPS data, nearly 11.7 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the United States in 2007 - an increase of 457 percent in the last ten years. The expansion of aesthetic surgery to include non-surgical, and even medical, treatments is occurring rapidly, and while plastic surgeons are uniquely capable of providing the whole spectrum of cosmetic medicine, other medical specialties are also attempting to provide this service.

"There has been a steady increase in the number of procedures, both surgical and less invasive, over the past several years," said Dr. Singer, a plastic surgeon in La Jolla, CA and a past-president of the Aesthetic Society. "What is the future of cosmetic medicine and what will the role of less invasive procedures be? We need to examine the reality and the limitations of these noninvasive procedures and those who are providing them in order to be better equipped to educate the public, limit hype and ensure the safety of patients."

The panelists all hold positions at the highest levels of leadership in the plastic surgical societies and have tremendous experience and insight into this important issue. They will discuss emerging trends in the practice of plastic surgery and the business of cosmetic medicine as a whole: To what extent can plastic surgeons legitimately say that they are better equipped to deliver cosmetic medicine than other medical specialties? What type of supervision is appropriate and safe for a non-physician administering treatments in a medi-spa? How do we evaluate and provided safe recommendations for the myriad of new herbal remedies, anti-aging recommendations, and injectable agents that are flooding the market?

"Plastic surgeons are the most skilled caregivers to provide for the correction and management of aging from the 30s to the 90s - from noninvasive cosmetic medicine such as Botox and fillers, to surgical procedures including breast augmentation and facelifts. It is imperative that we learn and be the masters of cosmetic medicine now, so that we may continue to take the lead in the future," said Dr. Rohrich, a plastic surgeon in Dallas, TX.

"This panel discussion will cover all aspects of non-surgical, moderately invasive procedures that can improve appearance and diminish the effects of the aging process," added Dr. Saltz, a Salt Lake City, UT plastic surgeon and Vice-President of ASAPS. "Board Certified plastic surgeons are well-trained and uniquely qualified to provide patients with a continuum of care, helping them evaluate their cosmetic medicine and surgical needs across all levels of cosmetic procedures and ages."

Patients considering any cosmetic procedure are urged to educate themselves. A new website just launched at http://www.beautyforlife.com/ that provides patients who seek a healthier lifestyle, are interested in anti-aging methodology, and are attracted to less invasive or non-surgical alternatives with a guide for implementing their own personalized beauty plan.

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