Age Management: The Next Frontier in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

Plastic Surgeons Sponsor "Anti-aging Symposium," Sept. 27-29, in San Francisco

NEW YORK, NY (September 23, 2002)Cosmetic plastic surgery procedures that elevate sagging tissues and remove excess skin can take years off our appearance and make us feel younger than we are. But surgery can do nothing to slow, stop or reverse the aging process of our bodies. That's why plastic surgeons are looking to the future of medical and scientific therapies that might alter the aging process -- treatments that could perhaps delay, or even replace, the surgical interventions which today are the mainstay of plastic surgery. A three-day educational forum for plastic surgeons, co-sponsored by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation (PSEF), the educational arm of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), September 27-29, in San Francisco, will examine the current science of "anti-aging" medicine and how this information may benefit patients now.

"Plastic surgeons are excited to be in the forefront of the evolving field of age management," says Symposium Co-chair Brian Kinney, MD, of Los Angeles. "As physicians and researchers, we know that there is no miracle 'cure' for aging. But current research on genetics, stem cell therapies and lifestyle modifications hold promise for increasing the quality, if not the length, of our lives."

Scientists know that changes occur in our cells as we age, but how these changes might affect our life span is not yet understood. Similarly, changes in our hormones are associated with certain physiological aspects of aging. "One of the things in which plastic surgeons are most interested is the effect of hormone therapies on the skin," says James Carraway, MD, of Virginia Beach, VA, co-chair of the Symposium. "Skin quality plays a major role in achieving optimal results from most cosmetic plastic surgery procedures. The ability to alter the aging process of the skin would have a dramatic impact on our ability to help patients look younger." Dr. Carraway adds that the safety of hormone therapies needs more research before its benefits can be fully explored.

Current knowledge will be reviewed during the symposium by experts such as David Ludwig, MD, PhD, a pediatric endocrinologist at Harvard Medical School; Peter Vash, MD, from the UCLA Department of Endocrinology; and Jay Olshansky, PhD, a biostatistician and demographer from the University of Illinois.

Both Drs. Kinney and Carraway also are quick to point out that age management is concerned with much more than genes and hormones. A large part of the symposium program deals with the latest research in diet, nutritional supplements, and exercise. Invited speakers include such noted experts on diet and obesity as Barry Sears, PhD, developer of The Zone Diet and best-selling author of The Zone, and Stephen Coles, MD, PhD, co-founder of the Gerontology Research Group.

"Perhaps the most powerful motivation for plastic surgeons attending this symposium is to be able to assist our patients in implementing meaningful lifestyle changes," says Dr. Carraway. "For example, a patient who undergoes liposuction to reduce localized fat deposits on her thighs or buttocks may be more successful in maintaining her new, slimmer contour if she learns how to control her diet and exercises regularly." There is evidence that suggests the benefits of eating a restricted calorie diet may go far beyond fitting into your favorite pair of jeans. "Caloric restriction seems to play a role in reducing the risk of certain diseases that shorten life," says Dr. Kinney. "While not everyone chooses to reduce their calorie intake by the 20 or 30 percent that seems to be the threshold for therapeutic benefit, almost anyone can be better off just by avoiding certain foods in favor of healthier alternatives."

"The term 'anti-aging' that has crept into our popular vernacular is really a misnomer since, for the present, there is no proven method to reverse or prevent aging," says Edward Luce, MD, ASPS president, Cleveland. "However, as the premier organizations representing ABPS-certified plastic surgeons, ASPS and ASAPS need to provide a forum for physicians to learn about emerging scientific therapies that might alter the aging process."

"No one really knows where this research will lead and what its clinical applications may be in the future," says ASAPS President Franklin DiSpaltro, MD, of West Orange, NJ. "Plastic surgeons, as the physicians to whom patients turn for advice about looking their best throughout life, have an obligation to become involved in seeking solutions to the problems of aging. Together with physicians and scientists from other fields, we hope our work may lead to better lives for our patients."

Some symposium program topics of interest are:

  • Genetic Theories of Aging
  • The Demographics of Aging
  • Cultural Variations in Aging
  • What Do Centenarians Teach Us About Longevity?
  • Newest Advances in Anti-aging Medicine
  • Strategies for Identifying Compounds That Slow Aging and Delay the Onset of Age-related Diseases
  • Latest Data on GH (Growth Hormones) in Over 500 Patients in 4 Years
  • Estrogen and Progesterone Replacement Therapy in Aging Women
  • Estrogen Replacement from a Plastic Surgeon's View
  • Exercise in Athletes: Lessons Learned for Successful Aging
  • The Obesity Epidemic in the USA and the American Diet
  • Optimizing Nutrition and Wellness Through a Proper Diet
  • Adding Nutrition and Supplements
  • Nutritional Supplements: the Scientific Data
  • Botox and Alternatives to Botox

To set up media interviews before, during, and after the symposium:
For ASPS/PSEF: Theresa Hill: 847-228-9900
For ASAPS: Leida Snow: 212-921-0500.

Attendance at the symposium is limited to qualified medical professionals.

The Anti-Aging Symposium, Sept. 27-29, in San Francisco, is co-sponsored by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation (PSEF). PSEF is the educational arm of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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