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New Approaches to Tried-and-True Procedures; ASAPS Annual Meeting Features Hot Topics Seminar, April 29

(press release from ASAPS)

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NEW YORK, April 29 -- New techniques and devices for surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic enhancement are being introduced at a rapid pace, but do these innovations really deliver what they promise? Are the results of minimally invasive treatments, offering the benefit of little or no downtime, comparable to more extensive procedures? Are these new modalities safe and cost-effective for patients? These are the questions that leading aesthetic plastic surgeons will explore during the Hot Topics seminar at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), April 29 to May 4, in New Orleans, La.

"Presentations at the annual Hot Topics seminar focus on some of the most intriguing innovations in both surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic treatments," says plastic surgeon Jeffrey Lang, M.D., president of the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF), co-sponsor of Hot Topics with the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation (PSEF). "Some of these techniques and devices have been in use outside the United States and have established a track record, but others are only in the preliminary stages of development. So it's important for doctors and patients to keep in mind that not all these innovative ideas will stand the test of time." The following are among the presentations included in this year's Hot Topics program:

-- Non-invasive Body Contouring (Ultrashape and Liposonix): Touted as a noninvasive alternative to lipoplasty (liposuction), this device uses ultrasonic technology to disrupt and selectively reduce fatty tissue. If proven safe and effective, the device would give patients the benefits of lipoplasty surgery while reducing risks, discomfort and recovery time.

-- Barbed Sutures: A minimally invasive, so-called "lunch- time" procedure uses a suture material that is literally barbed on two sides so that it engages and "locks into" the soft tissues of the face. Once the suture is in place, the surgeon can pull and tighten it to elevate the tissues. While the results are generally less dramatic than those achieved by more extensive surgical procedures, some surgeons believe that this minimally invasive technique may appeal to many patients who are looking for subtle rejuvenative effects.

-- Elast-Eon Breast Implants: Saline-filled breast implants are currently the only product that is FDA approved for general use in breast augmentation. However, a number of manufacturers continue to search for alternatives that may provide additional benefits to patients. One of these companies, AorTech, is developing a new type of breast implant, Elast-Eon, using a biosynthetic polymer that is claimed to more accurately simulate natural breast tissue while also being tear-resistant, flexible, and biocompatible.

As plastic surgeons concerned about patient safety, we want to be sure that the treatments we recommend are backed by good science and sufficient clinical experience," says Peter Fodor, M.D., ASAPS president. "Many of these innovations in aesthetic surgery may prove to be widely beneficial, but at the beginning they must be used cautiously and, of course, only with the patient's full informed consent.

"New is not always 'better'," Dr. Fodor adds. "First and foremost, patients must take responsibility for making sure that they select a trained and board-certified surgeon who has the knowledge and judgment to determine which treatments are truly effective and safe."

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Neither the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) nor the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF) advocates or endorses the procedures or technologies presented at the Hot Topics seminar. This seminar is strictly for the purposes of research and education in cosmetic plastic surgery. The reporting, advertising or clinical use of these procedures and technologies should be conducted cautiously, responsibly and with full disclosure of their unproven nature.

Hot Topics: Friday, April 29, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

PRESENTERS are available for interviews. Contact the ASAPS communications staff.

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The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) is the leading organization of board-certified plastic surgeons specializing in cosmetic plastic surgery. Since 1967, ASAPS has been the authoritative source in cosmetic surgery education and research. ASAPS' 2,200 plastic surgeons are elected to membership and are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Web site: www.surgery.org

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