Highlights from Plastic Surgery the Meeting 2015

by Amanda K. Silva, MD, Nikki Phillips, MD, Chad Purnell, MD, Raj Sawh-Martinez, MD, Shuja Shafqat, MD,  Deana Shenaq, MD & Sammy Sinno, MD

Known for bringing together specialists from all over the globe, Plastic Surgery The Meeting did not disappoint in 2015. Researchers, young professionals, and seasoned experts met in Boston to discuss principles of the field, debate the latest technologies, and catch up with colleagues. For resident attendees, the ASPS meeting offers a wide range of learning opportunities– as well as some good old-fashioned entertainment! Below are some of the highlights from #PSTM15 in no particular order:

1. The American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons (ASMS) panel on Migraine Surgery
It was clear from the speakers that migraine surgery is quickly moving from the fringes of plastic surgery to a well-defined treatment modality. Drs. Bahman Guyuron and William Austen showed how surgical methods have evolved in just a few short years, while Dr. Deborah Reed provided a valuable Neurology perspective.

2. PRS-Go Annual Resident’s Bowl
There were a lot of close matches and surprise victories, but at the end of the final round on Sunday, The Ohio State University defeated Johns Hopkins to secure a repeat win in the Resident Bowl. Will there be a 3-peat in 2016?

3. Iron Surgeon
Dr. Wyndell Merritt was a victor once again, with his “secret ingredient” of the Relative Motion splint concept for treatment of Boutonnière deformity. He successfully defended his title against Dr. Joe Losee’s clever use of hyperbaric oxygen and Dr. Debra Reilly’s external fixator with cross leg flaps.

4. Women in plastic surgery networking hour
The ASPS Women Plastic Surgeons Forum hosted a unique and fun opportunity for socializing and networking.  Newly elected ASPS President, Dr. David Song, and PSF President Dr. Chuck Butler joined in the festivities, showing their support for women in plastic surgery.  Now we know why the event is an annual favorite!

5. Jay Leno event
Comedian Jay Leno entertained at a charity event benefiting the Plastic Surgery Foundation Breast Reconstruction Awareness Fund, which supports breast reconstruction research, awareness and charitable care.  One highlight was a live auction, which included a chance to tour Leno’s infamous car collection. Great laughs, wine, and food were had by all in honor of breast reconstruction.

6. PRS best paper awards
Dr. Rohrich awarded authors with best paper awards at the PRS-go booth.  The winning articles (linked below) cover current trends in plastic surgery research, outcomes and techniques.  Selected papers explored the role of stem cells in aesthetic surgery, proportions of the perfect breast, 3D nipple tattooing after breast reconstruction, facial feminization surgery, and fat grafting for Raynaud’s disease.  All are must reads!
Read all of the 2015 Best Article Award Winners from PRS Here:

7. Senior resident conference
Senior resident conference was a full 12 hour day filled with critical information about financial planning, how to negotiate contracts, getting started in practice, boards, coding, research, and more. One of the highlights this year was Dr. Karen Horton’s (@drkarenhorton) talk about using Facebook, Twitter and other social media as a resident and how to incorporate it into your future practice. From hearing residents’ experiences from previous years, this year was one of the best ever. The expert information supplied is worth hundreds of dollars an hour, which seems like a steal compared to the registration fee.

8. BAPRAS exhibit on the birth of Plastic Surgery during WWI
The British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) was one of the host nations this year.  They brought a wonderful exhibit showing the amazing reconstructions and devices used by Sir Harold Gilles and his cohorts during WWI, which lead to the birth of Plastic Surgery.

9. Tech talks
Once again PRS and PRS GO lead the technological front by highlighting tomorrow’s essential technology abilities for plastic surgeons everywhere! Dr. Derek Steinbacher demonstrated the use of virtual surgical planning and 3D printing tools for operative planning of many aspects of craniofacial surgery. Dr. Olivier Branford (@OlivierBranford) spoke to a packed audience on tips for a successful #SoMe (Social Media) campaign for the busy plastic surgeon. Dr. Jonathan Kanefsky and Dr. Samuel Lin described how the next generation of augmented reality devices will be integrated into plastic surgery practice. Dr. David Song (@drdavidsong) and Dr. Deana Shenaq (@DeanaMD) demonstrated the wide variety of options to capture intra-operative HD video using GoPro cameras to collect and share surgical videos.  These remain a must-see at ASPS meetings!

10. 1st panel on providing plastic surgery care to transgender patients at ASPS
Lead by Dr. Loren Schechter this panel was the first panel to date at PSTM on providing care to transgender patients. Dr. Randi Ettner explained the pre-surgical psychological process. Dr. Douglas Ousterhout presented his experience with facial feminization and masculinization surgery. Dr. Paul Weiss discussed chest surgery. Drs. Lawrence Gottlieb and Stan Monstrey talked about their experience with phalloplasty. Dr. Hsu Ma commented on the global perception of transgender surgery.

11. Medical Students day with interview tips from Drs. Rohrich and Rodriguez
A room packed with over 100 medical students from across the country eagerly listened to a day-long program designed to give insider tips on the Match process and life as a plastic surgeon. The session concluded with two of the biggest names in academic plastic surgery, Dr. Rohrich and Dr. Rodriguez, giving a very helpful and honest appraisal of what programs are looking for in applicants.

12. Opening Ceremonies
The Opening Ceremonies started the meeting in spectacular fashion. Dr. Glasberg welcomed everyone to Boston and underscored what a great time it is to be a plastic surgeon. Dr. McCarthy was given the lifetime achievement award for all his contributions to the specialty. Most memorable were the vignettes on the patients of courage, highlighted by the young girl who nearly lost her foot running barefoot on stage to receive her award amidst thunderous applause.

13. Resident abstract presentations
For many residents, their first experience presenting at ASPS is in the Resident Research session. This is a great opportunity to listen to cutting edge work from peers, and also a great way to reconnect with friends from across the country. Some of the most innovative and creative research was presented in this forum this year.

14. ASPS Leadership Committees
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has a wide array of leadership committees, many of which are open to resident participation.  The committees cover five main areas, including Academic Affairs and International Service, Governance, Education, Health Policy and Advocacy, and Research. From the young plastic surgeons committee, to the legislative action committee, this year’s committees benefited from the interaction and input of residents who help spread the word and shape the future of the ASPS and the future of plastic surgery. This year brought about another successful and productive year, with great resident participation throughout the weekend in Boston!

15. Alumni Receptions
Every year, the ASPS serves as a gathering of old-friends and colleagues.  Throughout the course of the weekend, most university programs host their alumni reunions where program faculty and residents are able to gather, catch up and make new connections.  This is an invaluable resource to residents as their program networks grow and expand, leading to mentorship, relationships, and new opportunities for employment. Becoming an annual tradition, relationships are forged and the gap between generations and geography are brought together as plastic surgeons from the same residency alma mater gather together. This is an annual highlight at every ASPS meeting!

If you weren’t able to attend the ASPS meeting in 2015, we hope that this post has exposed you to all the wonderful opportunities available and has sparked your interest in joining us in Los Angeles in 2016!

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