MAFAC Melbourne, 5-7 November 2015

The latest Course in Melbourne was outstanding in many respects that I wish to report on. The Course had been a ‘sell-out’ two months before the event with a maximum capacity of thirty-two participants.

Extraordinarily, MAFAC has now become a truly International Course with the majority of attendees, 80% coming from fifteen countries including 6 from Taiwan, Brazil 4, Hong Kong 2, South Korea 2, and Turkey 2.

Participation in MAFAC reflects the attendee’s commitment to improving their aesthetic facial surgery. They come to Melbourne like pilgrims, for the two and a half day Course to enhance their understanding of facial anatomy. The Dissection Demonstrators’ commitment reflects their respect for this pilgrimage as they obtain a teachers satisfaction from ensuring that all participants have a positive dissection time with a strong experience to take home.

This Course was a significant advance over previous Courses based on feedback from the Dissection Tutors and the attendees. Several factors contributed to this improvement:

1. The Introductory Session on the Thursday evening before the Two-day Course is intended to broaden the thinking about the human face through a consideration of its development and function. This has been found beneficial to expand participants thinking about anatomy in a different way, to enable better understanding, prior to the Course commencement.

The outstanding Session on the Vascular and Lymphatics of the face by Professor Ashton, incorporated the Principles of the vascular system as well as the latest research on the facial lymphatics, particularly the eyelids with its relation to the clinical problem of chemosis.

2. The dissection sequence was changed to commence the dissections in the lower face, the most important area for clinical application. The dissection was demonstrated in a series of steps and following each step the participants performed the sequence on their own cadavers. The last Dissection of the first day, allowed them to perform their own lower facelift dissection on the other side of the face with minimal supervision.

3. Visually the dissection demonstrations were extraordinarily clear, with excellent colour using the latest technology, 4K Video. This dramatically improved the look of the cadaver dissections compared to the traditional colourless.

4. Hands on dissection time during the Course was extended to 11 hours over the two days, with lectures on the second day finished by lunch-break. Even with this amount of time allocated, more than half the participants were still dissecting enthusiastically nearly an hour after the official closure time on Saturday afternoon! This contrasts with previous Courses when fatigue had overtaken the enthusiasm of the participants, who began leaving well before the final bell. This greater stamina is a reflection of the enthusiasm generated by positive success in the dissections.

5. The Course focus has become progressively more clinical over its evolution. Participants want to learn about the use and localisation of the sub-SMAS spaces of the face. The clinical content was further enhanced with the demonstration and performance by the attendees of skeletal augmentation of the mid-cheek using sub-periosteal placement of Hydroxyapatite granules. This is the first Course anywhere where surgeons can learn this technique. As well, placement of fillers in the prezygomatic space and the tear-trough area was performed.

For those considering participating in MAFAC in 2016, I would strongly recommend early registration to avoid disappointment, either for the Abbreviated One Day Course at the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Meeting in Las Vegas on April 2nd or for the Full Melbourne Advanced Facial Anatomy Course Melbourne on November 3-5th, 2016.
Dr. Bryan C. Mendelson