The Christmas MAFAC Research Meetings

In November and December, MAFAC organised two follow-up Research Meetings. The progress of the research was discussed, and more in-depth presentations were given. Speakers included Dr. Jeremy Wilson, Dr. Andrés Freschi and Prof. Mark Ashton.

 Dr. Jeremy Wilson, a plastic surgeon at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, first presented on the biomechanics of soft tissue deformation and a model called tensegrity. The concept of tensegrity is very well known amongst engineers but innovative in the field of plastic surgery. Dr. Wilson has been working on the concept of tensegrity in soft tissues for the past two decades. Initially, he applied the concept of tensegrity to improve self-assembly of an adipose lobule in vivo contributing to the future goal of tissue-engineering adipose tissue for reconstructive purposes. More recently, he has applied the concept of tensegrity to soft tissues to explain the effects of surgical tissue manipulation. (Link to this video)

Dr. Wilson then presented his personal and unpublished technique for the reconstruction of the lower lip after cancer-related total lower lip resection. His technique is unique in that it makes use of the innervated and functional platysma muscle with overlying dermis to create a new depressor labii inferioris and thus lower lip. This results in an immediately functional and sensible lower lip mere days after the operation. (Link to this video)

Dr. Andrés Freschi, a plastic surgeon in Buenos Aires, Argentina, subsequently presented on his experience on using the nerve stimulator during rhytidectomy. He explained the ease of using this equipment to distinguish nerves from ligaments, improving the safety of deep plane dissections. Moreover, the innervation pattern of the specific nerve can be demonstrated and therefore distinguished between cervical and marginal mandibular nerves. In the long term, cervical denervation might become a common technique to prevent platysmal bands. MAFAC is exploring this in the ongoing research. (Link to this video)

Lastly, Prof. Mark Ashton, Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Melbourne and Chair of Plastic Surgery at Epworth Freemasons Hospital, and Prof. Quentin Fogg, Associate Professor in Clinical Anatomy in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, announced a PhD position at the University of Melbourne for the Tagliacozzi Research Fellow Dr. Lennert Minelli for the ongoing research. (Link to this video)