The first day of Breast Masters finally arrived. We have been anticipating this all year, a conference dedicated to the art of the breast. We know its going to be an amazing event because The Production House Events (TPHE) is the engine driving this forward. I don’t think I have ever been to an event run by TPHE that wasn’t inspiring. This is also the last conference of the year, so we want to get the most out of it. The Breast Masters journey has been the culmination of so many facets, it’s the first of its kind and is the brain child of Dr Michael Miroshnik, a breast master in his own right. Dr Naveen Somia, President of the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) called the conference a “disruptor. A bold move that has never been done before”, in his opening speech to the delegates. He also said that it is not how good you are but how good you can be, referring to staying abreast of the current trends and always improving. Breast Masters is the coming together of multiple societies. ASAPS, the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the New Zealand Association of Plastic Surgeons (NZAPS), and the Singapore Association of Plastic Surgeons (SAPS) have collaborated and supported this event to improve the breast industry and share knowledge, especially with the newer plastic surgeons. Constant education and development are imperative to giving patients the best possible results whilst also maintaining patient safety.
It always a breath of fresh air when a conference is in Sydney. This inaugural event is being hosted in the iconic Hilton on George St, Sydney. Walking in was humbling. So many faces I recognise, so many great plastic surgeons everywhere you look. It was like being in a candy store, who do I talk to first. But there was no time for that, Breast Masters was starting at 8am, to get the most out of the day. Dr Per Heden from Sweden was the International speaker and everyone was eager to hear from abroad, further adding to the wealth of knowledge being shared over the next couple of days. It was interesting to note that Dr Per Heden has no exclusivity to any of the implant companies that he has professional ties with. He states, “A surgeon today cannot just use one type of implant”. There are many factors to consider when choosing an implant and every patient is different. By having a one size fits all approach, you are limiting the quality of your work. Its like tying one hand behind your back prior to doing something, you are already at a disadvantage. Plus, its not fair to the patient.
As I sit and listen to each speaker, it becomes very clear that there is much more to breast augmentation than meets the eye. What needs to be considered when you are on the path to become a Breast Master? Inframammary position, inframammary crease, nipple position, nipple projection, ideal nipple position, animation (basically weird projections when flexing muscles), skin laxity, torso proportions, breast volume, and Implant selection including height, width and projection, are just some of the basic factors to consider when performing a breast augmentation or mastopexy with implants. There is even a hybrid breast augmentation, in which both an implant and fat grafting is used to achieve a desired result. This combined with breast augmentation being the most performed surgical cosmetic procedure worldwide, is why we needed a specific conference on breasts. The market is constantly changing, and education is the key. Dr Julian Lofts said, “I’ve been doing breast Augmentations for over 20 years and I wish I had some of this information back when I started”. The learning never stops. Surgical technique needs to be constantly refined to constantly deliver the best patient results whilst doing it as safe as possible. That’s why conferences such as Breast Masters are an integral part of being a great surgeon. When you consider that plastic surgeons at the top of their game are here learning and refining their techniques after 20 years, how do you feel about a cosmetic surgeon with no experience or training performing the same procedure on you?
Its not just about new research and techniques in relation to breast augmentations. Social media has also crept into the mix. Dr Mark Magnusson stated that “social media is part of the fabric of what we do”. This is a powerful message, either get on the bus or miss out. Gone are the days of yellow pages ads, most people do their research via Facebook and Instagram now. Online reviews have become the new word of mouth. In a study that Dr Magnusson presented, 95% of patients in the study had checked social media before making their decision to go ahead with surgery and 68% of them used social media as their first method of research. He also said that social media influenced the decision of 46% of the patients in the study. Dr Amira Sanki introduced Dr Michael Miroshnik to talk on ‘why plastic surgeons need to stay abreast of what’s happening on social media’. It’s all about meeting expectations due to influencers in social media. He spoke about how fast social media is changing and shaping what we do and how we do it. He said that he is constantly refining his technique for breast surgery based on trends within social media. Dr Miroshnik said that a lot of what he is doing now, he was not taught as a plastic surgeon. Some of the techniques he uses for breast augmentations are directly related to achieving certain looks that are trending on social media, basically giving the patients what they want. He used words such as ‘side boob’ and ‘under boob’ and said you will not find these in any text book on surgery, but this is the language patients are using online. Social media is affecting peoples body image goals and what they are requesting now. Dr Kourosh Tavakoli said that patients “bringing pre-op photos has become our friend”. This allows for the surgeon to have a clear understanding of what the patient is trying to achieve.
Its exciting to be part of the inaugural Breast Masters and fantastic that ASAPS has supported this event to further promote ongoing learning opportunities. With the first breast implant being implanted in 1963, we have come a long way not only in the technology behind our current implants but also in the techniques used to perform breast augmentations and mastopexies. Its only day one and I am already in awe in the quality of the content delivered by the various speakers. It’s exciting times for patients wanting to have a breast augmentation or mastopexy with implants. But as always, make sure you choose a surgeon you can trust. They are the surgeons that attend conferences like this.