New Zealand can arguably boast the origins and modern era of plastic surgery. The Southern Oceans seems to breed innovative highly entertaining and super-skilled surgeons with high principles on management. They are closely matched by their Plastic Surgery ‘cousins’ in Australia and the FACE meeting in Queenstown attracted the best ‘Silver Surgeons’ from both countries. This was the first such meeting organized by Michael Klassen, sponsored by the University of Otago and held in the wonderful South Island paradise of Queenstown. Original invitations to a host of International speakers attracted most but then nearly all pulled out at the last minute, leaving the meeting at jeopardy. What good fortune this was though, because with the NZ surgeons presenting original and highly interesting work that covered many years of service, the organisers avoided the repetitive grind of the ‘same old stuff’ and the Meeting was highly educational and interesting. Only one American attended but Dr Greg Mueller gave a ‘virtual lecture’ on the relevance of 360 Video Camera Imagery and was available for comment on line.
All but one UK Surgeon withdrew, and I was a late addition presenting my thirty-year experience on face-lifting, describing the transformation adoption of low risk surgery with re-volumisation of superficial and deep fat compartments. Indeed, virtually all speakers at the conference had changed from aggressive to less aggressive surgery to minimize risk but maximize good outcomes. Where else could we hear about the Aesthetic improvement in appearance following facial War Trauma, the humbling experience of dedicated and committed Surgeons helping facially disfigured populations in the remote Indonesian Islands, or of reincarnated but very relevant work on bone atrophy with ageing, sliding and rolling of facial soft tissue planes, by one of the most stimulating academic Plastic Surgeons of our generation, Bryan Mendelson. It was the meeting where even the ‘Silver Surgeons’ learned tips and tricks and, if repeated next year, I would unequivocally recommend all UKAAPS members to consider attending.
Even after the academic sessions there is Queenstown- arguably the most friendly and active outdoor cities in the World. New Zealanders are very generous and kind people and are always winners. A wonderful, short but very fruitful visit.
Professor James Frame, UKAAPS President.