There is little difference when it comes to what most people look for in aesthetic treatments, whether in Europe or Asia, according to Italian plastic surgeon Dr Franco Vercesi.
He is one of the three plastic surgeons and dermatologists were in Kuala Lumpur recently to share their expertise at the first-ever Asia Pacific (APAC) VIP Facial Anatomy Cadaver Course organised by Sinclair Pharmaceuticals in collaboration with Parvus Sdn. Bhd. Sinclair Pharmaceuticals produces Ellansé biostimulator fillers and Silhouette Soft suspension threads.
“Today, people are looking for natural results, more harmony in their features. We don’t focus too much on the ‘V-shape face’ or big ‘bee-stung’ lips anymore. More people want elegant results,” says Dr Franco, who is based in Italy and Vietnam.
“To restore or improve the beauty of a face in a natural way is something that touches the emotional side of a person. It improves your self-confidence,” adds Dr Franco.
He regards Ellansé as “the most elegant filler in the market” because it produces natural and longer-lasting results. Unlike hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers, Ellansé not only provides immediate correction but also stimulates production of the body’s own collagen to restore volume to the treated area for a longer duration.
Meanwhile, Silhouette Soft, he says, is ideal for those who want facial skin tightening and repositioning of sagging skin, without going under the knife. “Silhouette Soft is the only kind of thread to give support to the skin, and at the same time has been proven to stimulate collagen in humans. So, we have double action: a ‘mechanical’ action of support and a ‘chemical’ action of stimulation of collagen.”
In Korea, according to dermatologist Dr Kyung-Kook Hong, the most common indications that he treats are the result of natural ageing, for patients in their 40s and upwards.
“We need to analyse what patients need, what their expectations are and what they want to achieve. Sometimes what they want (to achieve) is unrealistic, so we have to advise them. Our patients are also very price-sensitive – they are willing to spend money on Chanel bags but want to save money on their face,” he half-jokes.
In such instances, Dr Hong opts for combination treatments to increase the cost-effectiveness of the treatments and provide optimal results, such as restoration of volume in the mid-face with a collagen stimulator like Ellansé or an injectable like Teosyal, and tightening of the lower face with Silhouette Soft.
Dr Matthieu Beustes-Stefanelli, Parisian plastic surgeon and the co-founder & CEO of iClass Anatomy, adds that Ellansé and Silhouette Soft offer great intermediary options for patients who are waiting to undergo surgery.
“Patients in their 40s or 50s may be too young to undergo a surgical facelift. Silhouette Soft offers a non-surgical facelift that lasts one to two years, and Ellansé is a long-lasting filler, which is not definitive but can last up to two or even three years. It gives us surgeons more options to treat patients,” he explains.
One of the newer fields that Dr Matthieu specialises in is female genital rejuvenation – a relatively new and still taboo subject in France – which not only focuses on improving the form but also the function of the female genitals in the event of conditions like vaginal laxity, vaginal atrophy as well as loosening, sagging or wrinkling of the vagina.
Dr Matthieu has found that Ellansé works well especially in the augmentation of the labia majora. Ellansé is typically used to fill and lift the appearance of the labia majora, which loses volume as women age.
Importance of Proper Training
According to Dr Franco, aesthetic medicine is a growing field in Asia but the level of knowledge on anatomy and potential complications of treatments does not correspond with this growth.
Seminars like the APAC VIP Facial Anatomy Cadaver Course organised by Sinclair are vital in elevating the level of scientific knowledge in the field of aesthetic medicine in this region. In addition to providing insight on the anatomy of facial structures using real cadavers, the seminar also trained doctors on the correct methods to administer Ellansé and Silhouette Soft.
“It’s not easy to learn about the actual human body without the use of cadavers. You can only learn so much from books, but the actual face is a different story. Without proper knowledge of anatomy and the products, there can be many side-effects, ranging from unfavourable results for the patient to more severe risks like necrosis. We are trying to provide more knowledge to the doctors to prevent or reduce such incidents,” says Dr Hong.
Dr Matthieu adds that the seminar is particularly useful for the administration of Ellansé because the treatment can penetrate into deeper tissue layers for different results.
In the interest of providing greater access to such knowledge, Sinclair is also setting up a new interactive online platform for physicians, known as Sinclair College.
As one of the experts involved in developing the anatomy module for the platform, Dr Matthieu believes this “anytime, anywhere” mobile app is a lively and practical solution, and the way forward for the industry.
Meanwhile, Dr Hong feels that Sinclair College provides an equal chance to all doctors to increase their knowledge of aesthetic medicine.