How to live better for longer? That's the question...
Dr Braccini, Face and neck specialist, speaker during the Anti-Aging Medecine World Congress, share with us his point of view.
1) With the ninth Anti-Aging Medicine World Congress that just open, we cannot help but realise that the question of "how to live better for longer" is of considerable importance to every one of us. Do you feel we are asking it at an increasingly young age? What is the average age today of the patients who come to consult you?
It is certain that the media coverage devoted to the possibility of aging well and aging better is inciting each of us to stay in the best of health, as regards our overall state of health but also by maintaining a youthful appearance. This is especially true of the face since that is the only part of the body permanently exposed to other people's eyes. For this reason the face, the initial expression of who we are, should be preserved and maintained for as long as possible.
The age at which patients consult is younger now, and what is astonishing is the considerable increase in aesthetic surgery on adolescents.
In my own practice as a surgeon, the age for rejuvenation treatments such as facelifts is indeed young, on average 40-50 years old; but the increase in seniors' longevity and quality of life means it is not uncommon to operate on people of over 70 or even 80 in complete safety, after validation by our teams of anaesthetists.
Aesthetic medicine treatments such as dermal filling with hyaluronic acid and Botuline toxin are indeed being used increasingly early, particularly filling and from as young as 18 or 20 years old.
It is therefore vital to use only products that are reliable and free from danger. Hyaluronic acid is the most reliable product today.
2) Among the high points of this 2011 congress, we learn that the colour of the bags under the eyes could determine the best treatment for getting rid of them. Could you give us an idea of what this is about?
Bags under the eyes are a real challenge in aesthetic medicine. Their intensity and size depends of course on variations in the colouring and pigmentation of the epidermis but also on the quantity of underlying cutaneous tissue and the ptosis in the tear trough region, which exacerbates the appearance of these bags.
Treating the colouring of these bags is therefore one of the avenues of research for reducing them, for we now know that treatments using dermal fillers carry sometimes unforeseeable risks of very invalidating bruising, notably due to the lack of hyaluronidase in this region.
So treating bags by focusing on treating their colouring is a very interesting development.
3) Anti-age medicine divides into two worlds: that of genetic progress that enables us to combat handicapping diseases such as Alzheimer's, and that of physical appearance, on which time now has virtually no hold, which seems to have its future guaranteed. How do you see your profession evolving in the coming years? What do you feel are the big issues?
It is extremely difficult to predict the future and how our specialities are going to develop in the years to come. What is certain is that the market for aesthetic treatments is growing consistently by more than 10% each year and is resisting the financial and political crises in our countries. It is therefore hard to see how this trend might reverse since everyone is concerned about how they look and managing their aging process well is of vital importance in each person's existence.
Genetics is of course at the hub of fundamental research and controlling numerous diseases depends on genetics. But many unknowns persist and in the case of Alzheimer's the roles of genetics and/or environment have not yet been clearly established. Each individual's aging process is determined by both their fundamental genomic makeup but also the stochastic accumulation of upsets that affect their life –accidents, eating habits, stress, smoking etc.
4) In your practice, which aesthetic medicine treatments do you consider to be revolutionary?
Botuline toxin is without any doubt the treatment that enables us to make wrinkles disappear incredibly effectively and to work on the muscular balance of the face.
But in my own practice it is non-surgical nose treatment, or medical rhinoplasty, that affords me astounding results.
It is now possible to model and truly sculpt a nose using dermal fillers, possibly combined with injections of Botuline toxin, for example to alter the position of the nose tip. The results are particularly long-lasting.
5) What do you think of combined therapies?
That is the big trend in aesthetic medicine treatments, when you potentialise the benefits of each type: Botuline toxin, mesotherapy, dermal fillers, surgery.
It means finding the best recipes for treatments that are more natural, less aggressive and longer lasting.