Multidisciplinary conference promises to cover a wealth of surgical, non-surgical and practice management topics
Every year for the past 15 years, the Vegas Cosmetic Surgery
(VCS) meeting, taking place June 5 – 8, 2019, at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nev., brings together physicians from multiple disciplines with leading educators in the fields of facial plastic surgery, plastic surgery, dermatology and oculoplastic surgery.
“VCS covers the entire gamut of the aesthetic specialty,” stated S. Randolph Waldman, MD, founder of VCS and a facial plastic surgeon in Lexington, Ky. “I really don’t think there is much left out. We cover everything from the newest technologies to the latest in injectable approaches and the most updated surgical treatments. It is the only meeting, at least in the U.S., that covers such a wide range of subjects. This, combined with an impressive faculty, is what makes it a world-class meeting.”
In creating the expansive scientific program, Dr. Waldman chooses topics and issues that are relevant to aesthetic practices. “VCS stays ahead of trends in the field, unlike a lot of other meetings,” he expressed. “I always put sessions on the program that are going to be apropos to everybody’s practice. I go by my own life and practice experiences, which sets this meeting apart from others. Also, I attend meetings in both the surgical and nonsurgical disciplines, as well as lecture at three dermatology meetings per year and at my own meetings. My goal is to create a program that I would want to attend.”
VCS is a true multispecialty and multidisciplinary meeting, said Paul S. Nassif, MD, a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, Calif. “This is the best meeting I go to annually, and I have been going from the beginning,” he said. “I take pages of notes home with me when I leave VCS every year, for me to explore as a surgeon for ideas, tricks and tips. Also, my office staff comes back with all kinds of information they learn from the practice management sessions.”
While Dr. Waldman’s leadership and direction has developed a sophisticated, comprehensive conference program that encompasses high-level education in the surgical arts, VCS has also more recently expanded its breadth and depth to accommodate nonsurgical, minimally and non-invasive treatment types and energy-based systems and methods.
“It is not a surgery meeting trying to have a couple of nonsurgical talks. We have something for everyone,” said Dr. Waldman. “The program ranges from rhinoplasty to filler injections to laser rejuvenation techniques to body sculpting, and on and on. Once people walk through the door and register, they will find education applicable to any attendee at any given time. We map that out carefully and make certain there is always something that would be of interest to them.”
Along with medical education, VCS’s practice management and marketing sections address a vast selection of subject matter. There is a multi-day portion of the meeting that is devoted to business-related issues, team building, social media outreach and patient relationship topics, not to mention the compelling session titled: The Art, Science and Benefits of Converting Your Nonsurgical Revenue Stream From a Non-Profitable Activity into a Business for the Aesthetic Surgeon.
The meeting’s didactic sections are equally extensive, detailing new and intriguing surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic approaches, with presentations by some of the top key opinion leaders and aesthetic physician frontrunners.
Key sections of the conference are devoted to rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, minimally invasive procedures and facial surgery. Other coverage areas include clinical research, offering presentations on real world studies that are completed or in progress, and legal issues that affect practitioners.
Attendees will also discover new and cutting-edge sessions, including coverage of the “genetico-racial” skin classification system, which assigns patients to one of six categories that account for genetic disposition and anticipated responses to aesthetic treatments. Emerging techniques and products will also be addressed, including New Fillers, Toxins, and Cosmeceuticals Making Waves in the US Market In 2019; and illuminating lectures on the use of stem cells in dermatologic skincare and how to employ nanofatrelated procedures in clinical practice.
The VCS program also specializes in numerous surgery-centric techniques, including important sessions on rejuvenating the lips and perioral region, how to modify periorbital muscles in cosmetic surgery, fat repositioning, canthopexy and mid-face lifting, among many others.
Sessions that discuss multi-modality procedures utilizing energy-based devices will be abundant this year as well. Sessions of interest include a proper assessment for energy-based vaginal treatments, body contouring via high-intensity focused electromagnetic (HIFEM) energy; and, in a nice mix of surgical with non-surgical approaches, how CO2-based lasers can perform open incisional double eyelid surgery.
VCS’s expansive exhibit hall gives attendees a one-stop shop for the newest products and technologies. Surgical adjuncts will be on display, such as the Epstein Abdominoplasty Retractor from ASSI Corp. (San Diego, Calif.), which is engineered to dissect the upper abdominal tunnel without losing countertraction. It features an easy-to-hold ergonomic handle and a host of mechanical advantages, from yielding exposure to reducing fatigue, and is available in several blade lengths designed to fit both long and short tunnels in the patient anatomy.
The Visflow Pressurized Skin Marker from Viscot Medical (East Hanover, N.J.), eliminates the problem of markers getting clogged by blood, fat and other fluids in the operative field. The product’s distinctive squeeze barrel design drives ink back into the tip, thus allowing the surgeon to continue to mark the patient without having to change markers.
Attendees can also examine some of the latest energy-based technologies on display. Zimmer MedizinSystems (Irvine, Calif.), will debut Z WaveQ, a new water-cooled, extra quiet radial pulse therapy device. This system delivers painless, quick, non-invasive treatments with consistently reproducible and visible results, as well as no disposables and no downtime.
Energy-based microneedling technologies have recently captured the attention of many practitioners, and these products are expected to be well represented at VCS.
Utilizing radiofrequency (RF)-based microneedling, the Vivace RF platform from Aesthetics Biomedical (Phoenix, Ariz.), contours and tightens skin on the face, neck, hands and body by stimulating the natural production of collagen to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles and fine lines after a single procedure.
Rohrer Aesthetics (Homewood, Ala.), will show off its PiXel8-RF microneedling system, which uses bipolar RF energy alongside minimally invasive microneedles (insulated and non-insulated) to facilitate nonsurgical skin tightening with little to no downtime. During treatment, RF energy is driven deep within the skin layers to stimulate and remodel collagen to improve fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars and striae.
As with the previously mentioned systems, the handheld SkinPen®, from Bellus Medical (Dallas, Texas), is suitable for treating all skin types. As the first FDA-cleared microneedling device on the U.S. market, this device provides fast, comfortable minimally invasive treatments that work on all skin types and require little to no downtime.
Energy-based aesthetic systems have been growing in sophistication, as well. Renuvion® from Apyx Medical, (Clearwater, Fla.), combines helium plasma with a proprietary RF waveform to achieve tissue contraction by heating the treatment site to temperatures of ~85°C within milliseconds. The coagulation effect is not reliant on full-thickness heating of tissue, allowing for much lower skin temperatures (</= 4° above baseline) than bulk heating devices and a more time-efficient procedure.
Other energies that focus on body shaping procedures include high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), represented by the Ultralipo system from Wontech Co., Ltd. (Daejeon, South Korea), which delivers heat from 60° C to 80° C to the target body area, destroying fat tissue without damaging the surface of the skin.
Thermi, a Celling Biosciences Company (Irving, Texas), offers the new A RVATI™ system powered by Thermi’s proprietary EPIC Technology™, which delivers the controlled emission of continuous RF-based energy via an enhanced 50 W capacity system, intelligent software with electrode recognition and a controlling algorithm that offers adjustable speeds for various Thermi-based modalities, such as ThermiTight® body shaping, ThermiRase®, ThermiSmooth® Face and ThermiVa® for feminine rejuvenation treatments.
Within the feminine rejuvenation genre, MiXto Pro V-Lase®, from Lasering USA (San Ramon, Calif.), employs patented ablative CO2-based technology originally designed for facial skin resurfacing that has been adapted for feminine therapy treatments. This non-invasive system provides a painless method for various gynecological applications notable for stimulating new collagen and blood vessel formation.
Beyond body-related applications, hair removal is the bailiwick of the new Motus AY system from DEKA M.E.L.A. (Calenzano, Italy), a high frequency Alexandrite and Nd:YAG laser system allowing selectable energy levels that safely treat skin types I to VI. In addition, pigmented lesions, vascular and skin rejuvenation concerns can be addressed using additional handpieces.
Speaking of vascular lesions, the Aerolase V650® workstation from Aerolase (Tarrytown, N.Y.), provides a comprehensive solution to treat both deep and superficial vascular conditions via proprietary 650 Microsecond Technology™ that provides clearance for veins on the face and legs, rosacea and redness, psoriasis and vascular malformations without patient downtime or adverse effects.
One of the most difficult skin-related indications to treat – melasma – is just one forte of the StarWalker® platform, from Fotona (Dallas, Texas), which implements a multifaceted, non-invasive Q-switched laser approach to this condition, not only addressing melasma symptoms, but also its underlying causes, for long-term results.
The latest autologous fat transfer procedures will also be reviewed throughout the scientific program, from The Principles of Periorbital Rejuvenation with Fat Grafting and Hyaluronic Acid, to how to perform fat grafting to the buttocks and the revolution in biocellular-based rejuvenation techniques.
MTF Biologics (Edison, N.J.) will display a unique fat-grafting technique, an all-natural injectable extracellular matrix that acts as a scaffold to allow the body to essentially grow new fat cells to attach to it.
Skincare-related technologies will be discussed throughout VCS scientific sessions in an adjunctive role, while the latest products will be available in the exhibit hall.
These include DefenAge’s 3D Eye Radiance Cream from Progenitor Biologics (Carlsbad, Calif.), an innovative topical that improves the visible health of the skin around the eyes and helps to reverse aging; as well as DefenAge’s new Men’s Kit, a four-product skincare system that is clinically proven to address signs of exhaustion and aging on a global scale. In addition to the company’s signature Clinical Power Trio, the kit also comes with a soap-free facial cleanser to remove dirt, sweat, oils, surface debris and air pollutants, and is backed by Age-Repair Defensins®, which work to reprogram the skin to improve brightness, tone, texture and hydration.
In addition to products that treat the dermis, Skinade® from Bottled Science, Inc. (Chantilly, Va.), is a therapeutic drink that works from the inside, offering key nutrients that are essential for optimizing skin health. This “feedback mechanism” skincare product, which can be used as an adjunct post-procedure, boosts the skin’s natural production of collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin for smoother, younger looking and better hydrated skin.
Other types of adjunctive products lining the exhibit hall include the Mediscope Bodystation from FotoFinder Systems, Inc. (Columbia, Md.), a cutting-edge, mobile imaging solution for consistent before-and-after photo documentation of virtually any aesthetic, medical or surgical procedure. The system features the unique Laser Liner for consistent patient positioning at baseline and follow-up appointments, and is supported by an intelligent database solution.
To support physician education outside of VCS, Rejuvn8 (Liverpool, N.Y.) offers training in the latest applications of Polydioxanone (PDO) threads, teaching practitioners how to effectively use this popular non-surgical option for enhancing the body.
On the practice management software side, the Weave Integrated Communications platform from Weave (Lehi, Utah) combines phone, messaging, team chat, fax, email and other features that integrate with practice management systems. The software features instant access to patient information, as well as the practice’s financial data, reviews, payments and marketing materials. Automated scheduling functions include reminders and recalls for every patient.
Tying together the range and value of products that will be displayed and discussed during meeting lectures, Dr. Waldman remarked, "VCS fills a very important niche by merging specialties that are interested in making people look better, and by doing that we secured the best speakers from all of the different disciplines to educate each other. The cross pollination of specialties is not only good for the physicians that attend VCS, but it is also in the best interest of the patients.”
As Dr. Nassif concluded, “The speakers are excellent. You don’t get the same old talks that you get at all of the other meetings. The variety is outstanding. I exchange thoughts with plastic surgeons, dermatologists, facial and oculoplastic surgeons. It is all at the top of the food chain. Additionally, the best thing about VCS is that it is fun, offers a good atmosphere and excellent people. It is a great organization.