I have been writing about the importance of a thorough understanding of facial anatomy with respect to facial injectable treatments for some time. I described in my recent article of The 3 A s of Facial Injectables how the era of ‘anatomical injecting’ has dawned. It was therefore with great honour that I was invited to attend The Allergan Academy Applied Anatomy Workshop in Singapore. This was a small but highly focused event attended by delegates were all from the Asia Pacific region, including Australia, China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and of course Singapore. I felt very privileged as attendance was strictly by invitation only. There were six doctors from Australia, three from Queensland, two from WA, and myself.
The meeting was held at the wonderful facility at the Academia, Singapore General Hospital. The event was convened by my esteemed international colleagues, Dr Woffles Wu from Singapore, and Dr Andre Braz from Brazil. Unfortunately Prof H J Kim from South Korea was not able attend in person due to travel restrictions related to an outbreak of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome in his country. Nevertheless he was able to join us via a video link during the proceedings of the second day.
The first day consisted of small group cadaver dissection in the well equipped state of the art anatomy lab. We were divided into small groups of four. Each group was assigned a group leader and the leader of our group was a very experienced and enthusiastic plastic surgeon from Guangzhou, China. The detailed anatomy of each region of the face was discussed first, followed by demonstration of the anatomy by live dissection by Drs Wu and Braz. The groups were then able to carry out ‘injections’ and dissection under the guidance and coordination of their team leaders. It was a fascinating experience as it allowed instant feedback of the accuracy and positioning of our injections.
The second day consisted of more discussions of facial anatomy, interspersed with live injecting demonstrations on patients.
I was invited on stage to represent the Australian experience, alongside a colleague each from Singapore and China, to join Drs Wu and Braz, to take part in a round table discussion on the subject of avoiding and dealing with complications from filler injections.
Two hectic days just flew by. It has been an incredible learning experience. My understanding of the facial anatomy in relation to cosmetic injectables has been considerably deepened. I have renewed my respect for the complexity of the factors to consider and the technical difficulty of administering anti-wrinkle and dermal filler injections. I was grateful for the excellent opportunity to meet and network with some of the most experienced injectors from Australia and around the Asia Pacific region. Ideas were exchanged, experiences were shared, friendships were formed.
I have been thoroughly inspired by this meeting. The knowledge gleaned from this amazing learning experience will be put to good use, which will in turn translate to even better and safer outcomes for my patients.