In 2011, I was asked by the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons to convene the Plastic Surgery section of the 2014 Annual Scientific Congress (ASC) of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). This internationally renowned conference was recently held at the Marina Bay Sands complex in Singapore. For the first time in around 20 years, the conference was held concurrently with the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists. Almost 4000 delegates attended the combined conferences, with around 1900 of these being Surgeons. Of these, there were almost 300 delegates who attended the Plastic Surgery Programme.

The invited speakers included Professor Joseph McCarthy from the New York University in Manhattan, Professor Phillip Blondeel from the University of Gent together with his colleagues Professor Konrad Van Landuyt and Dr Filip Stillaert. Other invited guests included Dr Mark Mureau from Rotterdam and numerous speakers from Singapore and Australia.

The conference spanned four days and was crammed full of lectures on aesthetic facial, aesthetic breast and reconstructive surgery. All sessions were extremely well attended and well received and there has been very positive feedback. The climax of the week was the Plastic Surgery section dinner which was held at the Fullerton Hotel.

There were most enlightening sessions on cosmetic breast augmentation combined with lipo-filling (fat grafting) which is a procedure that has not yet been approved for widespread use in Australia. Lipo-filling is on the forefront of Plastic Surgery and is a commonly used technique overseas. It is yet to gain approval in Australia due to the fears that it may be associated with the potential for cancer induction and acceleration in the breast tissue. This has never been demonstrated in humans and yet the fear of it has prevented the technique from being practiced in Australia. The results demonstrated by our overseas speakers show how useful a technique it can be and I am hopeful that at some point it may be offered to my patients in Australia.

Dr Mark Hanikeri

After completing his training in Reconstructive and Cosmetic Plastic Surgery in Perth and Brisbane, Mark undertook further training in the United Kingdom in facial reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. Mark has continued to develop his interest in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face and breast and has attended numerous courses and conferences.

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