Today being the fifth and final day of the conference, the conference centre felt a bit deserted. Luckily there were still some interesting scientific presentations to attend, even if the energy had waned a little.
In the morning I attended a session called Soft Tissue Augmentation: The Nasolabial Fold and Beyond. One of the key take home messages (or pearls, as they like to call them at this conference) for me as a non-physician was the importance placed on managing patient expectations with regards to treatment of the face (regardless of the area) with dermal fillers and botulinum toxins. The examples used were particularly telling. Dr. Andre Braz would show a before picture of a patient who desired to augment the lips through the use of fillers. Upon seeing the picture, I could tell why the lips were thin and there were perioral wrinkles. However, it turned out this patient was not a good candidate to achieve the full lips that are currently heralded as beautiful, due in part to the proportions of the patient's face. Because there was such a great distance between the patient's top lip and nose, using too much filler in the upper lip would create an aesthetically displeasing result.
By using a beauty plan with the patient before the treatment starts, a physician can accurately communicate the expected results, as well as estimate the number of syringes that will be required for the treatment (especially with regards to full facial treatments), ultimately ending up with a satisfied patient. Throughout many of the scientific presentations that I attended, whether the topic was aesthetic treatments or dermatological disease, the importance of open communication was stressed one dermatologist from Brazil even suggested giving patients the doctor's cell number so they can call at any time with follow up questions. If one thing was clear from attending AAD, it is that these dermatologists are committed to their field and endeavor to provide the best possible care to their patients.