Despite the setback that COVID-19 has presented to our industry, Vegas Cosmetic Surgery (VCS) 2020 promises to provide a high-quality scientific program that is both progressive and immediately relevant to today’s issues.
VCS has long established itself as a Summer conference, normally taking place in June at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. However, with safety of attendees, exhibitors and faculty being the highest priority, conference organizers made the difficult, but necessary, decision to move VCS 2020 to September 8-11 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino.
Under the guidance of chairmen Steven Dayan, MD and Renato Saltz, MD, VCS will offer an innovative and timely curriculum, kicking off with a full day of sessions confronting the challenges related to COVID-19 and culminating with Masterclasses and cadaver labs – one covering facial surgery and one focused on injectables, each including a live training component.
As one of the first conferences to unite aesthetic medicine’s core specialties of plastic surgery, facial plastic surgery, oculoplastic surgery and dermatology, Dr. Dayan, who is a facial plastic surgeon in Chicago, Ill., knows the meeting well. “I have been attending VCS since its inception in Newport Beach 16 years ago,” he shared.
“Under the direction of Randy Waldman, MD, founder of the meeting, VCS has become what most consider the best multispecialty cosmetic meeting in the U.S. each year,” Dr. Dayan continued. “This conference attracts the top faculty and has a practice management track that is unparalleled. Many physicians bring their entire staff each year and they always learn so many pearls that will help them immediately grow their practices.”
From new cadaver labs with live training, in-depth panel discussions focused on dealing with the impact of COVID-19 at both a global and practice level and the highly anticipated masterclass presentations, VCS 2020 promises the most comprehensive educational experience ever. There are scientific sessions on surgical complications and considerations, rhinoplasty, emerging trends and technologies, body shaping therapies and regenerative medicine. Additionally, there will be a host of practice management sessions set to deliver strategies to boost revenue and rebound from the unexpected hardship and economic damage experienced this year.
“The VCS agenda has always been great, and this year we expect it to get even better as the meeting continues to evolve to tackle current events and energize the next generation of aesthetic practitioners. I am excited to be co-chairing with Dr. Saltz, my good friend and renowned plastic surgeon," Dr. Dayan expressed.
“In addition, our four specialty tracks have been created under the leadership of some of the best in aesthetic medicine: dermatologist Ava Shamban, MD; oculoplastic surgeon Julie Woodward, MD; and facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Paul Nassif, MD.”
Along with new topics and live training, VCS is adding many new speakers from around the world as the meeting is attracting a large international crowd, Dr. Dayan added. “Our international colleagues have experience and insights into many new devices and products that are just entering the U.S. market. And their talks are always well attended.”
To maintain this global flair and overcome any limitations created by travel bans or restrictions, VCS will introduce virtual conferencing. Individual lectures can be virtually live streamed into sessions, but moreover, the conference will be live streamed to anyone that wishes to attend but cannot make it in-person. And all scientific content – live or streamed – will offer Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits.
This is just the beginning of the modern features being instituted at VCS. Another example is immediate speaker ratings, which will determine future podium time. “Podium time will be earned not granted, so higher rated speakers will earn more time. This way, we assure that our attendees’ time is optimized,” Dr. Dayan explained.
“There are many other new and creative forums for learning and fun, but I don’t want to give it all away just yet,” Dr. Dayan teased. “You will have to attend to experience it!”
One of the top highlights of the 2020 program is incorporation of cadaver dissections. There will be shorter form live demos with cadaver dissections in the main program, and for those that want a more in-depth learning experience there is the 3D cadaver dissection lab and injectables training on Friday, September 11, where students can learn from top injectors and observe treatment of live patients in an up-close an intimate environment.
In addition, surgeons have the opportunity to attend facial surgical cadaver labs with hands-on training covering brow, face and neck lifts, as well as rhinoplasty.
“This is an incredible way to better learn anatomy, which ultimately leads to safer treatment,” Dr. Dayan said.
VCS 2020 will feature all of the leading manufacturers and companies in the accompanying exhibit hall. However, attendees can also customize their learning experience with sponsored symposiums offering the latest advancements, research, launches and live demos from industry,” Dr. Dayan noted.
Probably best known for his role on the television show Botched, Dr. Nassif has attended VCS since the very start. His experience makes him well prepared to serve as the director of the facial plastic surgery aspect of the 2020 meeting.
“This is a meeting where you always take home at least 10 or 15 pearls,” Dr. Nassif said. “It is a great meeting at a great venue, and it is very valuable. It is a pleasure because you get to see all your colleagues.”
As past president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a surgeon, speaker, educator and mentor, Edwin Williams, MD, a facial plastic surgeon in Latham, N.Y. goes to many meetings every year and says he always learns something valuable at each one. “But, this meeting, in particular, is special because it has the cross pollination of the different specialties. You get the best of the best,” he remarked. “It is also good for surgeons, for comradery and collegiality to be able to get to know leaders in specialties other than our own.”
Dr. Williams is passionate about the business of aesthetic medicine. “I think there is this misconception that you can’t be a good businessperson if you are a good surgeon or dermatologist,” he began. “But I don’t believe that is true at all. In fact, it is imperative that if we want to control our destinies, we need to learn the business aspect. VCS has handpicked not just industry people, but a lot of physicians that get it. For example, experts who really understand how to use social media or who understand how to build culture within a practice.”
Dr. Williams encourages colleagues to ask really tough questions during the sessions. “We don’t just want to be lectured to,” he stated. “This is what makes the meeting different.”