This last month saw two hugely important events in the aesthetic calendar for UK practitioners, and I am delighted to say that I was present for both.
The first was hosted by Allergan Medical Institute, marking the ten-year anniversary of Botox® receiving its license in the UK for the treatment of frown lines. The conference was led by Dr Arthur Swift (pictured left), a pioneering and world renowned plastic surgeon from Canada. His lecture was inspiring, focussing on the use of “phi” (also known as the golden ratio) when assessing facial proportions. This ratio (1:1.6) was first identified by Leonardo da Vinci, and is evident throughout the natural world. It applies also to the ideal proportions of the face, for example the ratio of the upper to the lower lip. Dr Swift’s observations and techniques were fascinating, and I will certainly be looking to incorporate them into my own practice.
We also had a fascinating session with Allergan’s director of international medical education, Mark Chaplin, who actually managed to entertain us with information about what he described as ‘the love of his life’ – Botox! What really interested me was how new uses continue to be found for this incredible product – there are now 26 medical indications for Botox, possibly soon to include for premature ejaculation (trials underway)! From a practitioner’s point of view, it is very reassuring to know that Botox (as in the original Allergan product, which is the only product I use) has been shown to spread less after injection than some other brands. This is of course essential when injecting into very small, distinct facial muscles, and reinforces my belief that I am using only the very best for my patients.
The second event was the annual conference of the academic body for aesthetic doctors, the British College of Aesthetic Medicine, held in the impressive Church House, Dean’s Yard, Westminster. There were numerous sessions to choose from, covering latest techniques and patient safety issues. Rather worryingly, I learned that there have been four cases worldwide of aesthetic doctors being murdered by their patients – it would appear they had been suffering from body dysmorphic disorder (a condition where the person has a misguided view of their appearance, and an overwhelming and insatiable need to change it). On a lighter note, we learned that the average woman speaks an incredible 20,000 words per day, compared to only 7,000 for men (who’d have thought it?), and this ‘extra talking’ is actually thought to contribute to the fine lines women often develop around their mouths. Just as well we can treat such lines!
Both events have really inspired me to continue our efforts in making the patient experience at BrightNewMe as good as it can possibly be. I’ve already purchased my ‘Golden Ratio’ calipers, and very much look forward to using them to fine tune patients’ treatment plans where appropriate.