Dr Hodgkinson at ICAPS 2017
The International Consortium of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ICAPS) meetings are like the G20 summits for international politicians, the difference being that ICAPS is comprised of a group of elite plastic surgeons with only two or three from any country in the world participating by invitation. These plastic surgeons come together annually in a different world center each year to collaborate with one another as well as to discuss the state of the industry, review any developments in surgical techniques or products such as breast implants and make it their mission to give an honest appraisal of techniques, trends as well as enjoying the comradeship of colleagues. Whilst the group does not necessarily reach a consensus on issues each and every member benefits from the extensive experience of each member as well as in gaining a global view of issues that affect plastic surgeons and their patients. There group is apolitical and prides itself on stripping back any hubris to ensure that techniques and results are presented factually and ethically.
Attendees from every continent give lectures, demonstrate their techniques and share their experiences. I gave a lecture on the charity I founded 25 years ago, Operation Restore Hope (ORH), for the correction of cleft lip and palate in less fortunate children in the Philippines. This lecture focused on the importance of collaboration with the local doctors and surgeons and the continuity of care that this provides both for the patients and the community(ies) the charity serves. I also gave a major lecture on my published technique for neck lifting. Worldwide trends in liposuction, lipoinjection, male cosmetic surgery, eyelid surgery, facelift surgery and breast surgery were also presented.
Patients are understandably confused by the manufactured claims of non-specialist surgeons playing in the market place. Young and or untrained surgeons in the specialty are able to apply to themselves the title of “cosmetic surgeon” and claim to have experience or expertise in a field on google and in social media where there is no vetting of a surgeon’s qualifications or results against industry standards as would take place were they to try and publish or present their work at professional conferences for the industry. These “self-created experts” have claimed to be a part of the industry predominantly for financial gain and are not champions of professionalism, quality and standards may be certainly financially rewarded. If they do not subject their work to peer review through publication and presentation, they cannot be regarded in any forum as an expert.
I continue to show my results at the highest level of international meetings and teaching courses and am an invited as a lecturer or faculty member at conferences and as an author to both review and write Articles or chapters in textbooks. I am sure that the commitment that I make benefits patients in the fact that they are receiving the most up to date procedures and advice available internationally.