From Dr Goel's desk- Takeaways from ASPORS fall meeting
It was not the same. I was not there physically for the annual fall meeting of ASOPRS – American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, especially since I was being inducted as the international member associate. It is indeed an honour to be amongst the other eight surgeons from India. The election process is strict, and the application must go through multiple committees before one can be inducted.
However, the virtual meeting was well organized, minus the time difference, which was hard to manage. These meetings are great to learn about the most recent advancements in the field and make new connections and associations across the International fraternity.
The meeting was an academic extravaganza for new learnings, and reinforcement for my existing practice patterns learned over the years.
Some of the highlights which I want to share are:
The keynote was by Dr Neal Barnard, an American author, clinical researcher, vegan and founding president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. He spoke about food for the mind and the body. What stood out was his conclusion that a plant-based diet can be used to reverse ageing, Alzheimer's, obesity, cognitive disorders, diabetes, menopausal syndrome, polycystic ovary disease, and others. This was fascinating as I have been a vegan for the last five years, and I strongly support the science behind a plant-based diet for a sound mind, body and soul. So, when a seasoned researcher shares it in a scientific forum like ASOPRS, it reinforces my belief and gives me hope that the world will start taking plant-based living more seriously.
Lacrimal gland botox - It was interesting to see a presentation of 40 cases. I have been practising this technique for the last 14 years and have data of more than 100 patients, including at Clinica Fai. It reinforces our preferred treatment approach for watery eyes where surgical techniques cannot work.
The focus was a lot on telemedicine, and video consultations post covid pandemic. It was interesting to note that the patient and physician satisfaction, reliability of findings and treatment outcomes were 80 % predictable. We, at Clinica Fai, have been working actively on the concept of a virtual clinic for consultations and operations at or with partner clinics. This indeed is a change in how medical practices will operate in the future, post covid era. This does not eliminate the need for physical centres and consultations but does augment the practice patterns positively and provides more accessible and cheaper options for patients.
AI has been an emerging tool for all the practices, and the same is in the case of ophthalmic plastic surgery. At Clinica Fai, we have been working on some interesting AI-led innovations for pre-and post-operative care that we cannot wait to launch.
A paper on changing trends in Asian Blepharoplasty was one of my favourites. Not only because my mentor presented it, but also because it summarised the philosophy that forms the basis of Clinica Fai – fall in love with yourself. Cosmetic surgeries and procedures can go overboard due to societal demands from patients, which can create a sub-optimal set of industry practices. However, the study reinforces that plastic surgeries should focus on enhancing one's features. Completely changing the features to ape another ethnicity, an ideal, or an influencer is not a patient-centric approach.
A paper on quality of life after blepharoplasty stresses that these procedures are not always for vanity but also to improve the quality of day to day functions, emotional quotients. Again, this is something we have been working hard to change the perception of - that eye and face corrective treatments go beyond cosmetic motivations.
The use of facial images for estimating age was again a booster for us because we have been working on something similar to project the change in facial quotient post procedure's. We will be launching this soon at Clinica Fai.
Finally, seeing my mentors receive the highest degree of awards and appreciation was inspiring. To witness, Indian Association of Oculoplasty and its associates (seniors, juniors and colleagues) was a very proud moment for me as a member of the society.