• [Global Trends in Aesthetic Dermatology and Plastic Surgery]Samuel M. Lam, M.D., The United States



    CV Summary

    Baylor College of Medicine, M.D.

    Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Residency

    Albany Medical College, Fellowship

    Founder of Ova Skin Care

    Owner of Willow Bend Wellness Center and Jose Eber Salon


    Q. Which aesthetic procedures are currently most popular in the US?

    The most popular are, of course, minimally invasive treatments. And I am not saying this because I am a dermatologist. In the past few years, there has been a big increase in the number of patients choosing minimally invasive treatments over traditional surgery. With the advent of cannula in 2010, effective and safe minimally invasive treatments became possible and have been on the rise. Another reason for the popularity is that minimally invasive procedures have less downtime and are more affordable. They are currently the trendiest subfield within aesthetic dermatology and plastic surgery.

    Follicular unit extraction, a non-invasive hair transplant method, is also becoming popular. The biggest advantage of this procedure is that it harvests follicles without using incision and minimizes scars. Recently introduced robotic FUE is also becoming very popular. The robotic treatment cannot be applied to all cases but it is an exciting development. However, non-incisional hair transplant is difficult to carry out in an extensive area and has limited efficacy. Personally, I still prefer the traditional hair transplant method.


    Q. Tell us about treatments you have recently carried out.

    I reconstructed the nose of a woman who lost her nose in a car accident. She had already gone through two failed surgeries and lacked tissues needed for reconstruction. I used rib grafting and forehead flap to successfully reconstruct the nose.


    Q. Which products or devices do you most often use in your practice?

    I use hyaluronic acid (HA) very often. I carry out HA injections in the majority of patients who visit me. HA is very safe and this is why I have been using it for a long time. After several procedures, HA filler can even bring lasting effects. As for energy based devices, I use Nd:YAG laser, KTP Laser, Er:YAG fractional laser and CO2 fractional laser in facial rejuvenation. I use Soft-fil’s 27-gauge cannula for all injectable treatments. It is safe and painless and does not cause bruising.


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    Q. What are your thoughts on the future of the aesthetic medicine in the US?

    In the US, the market for aesthetic procedures have grown rapidly in the past few years. I think this trend will continue for a while. Here are reasons why I think the growth will continue. First, there is a lot of support from the media. Celebrities show off their good looks on TV. It no longer matters if the good looks are natural or achieved through plastic surgery. On many reality TV shows, people have surgical make-overs and become more attractive.

    This helps boost the demand for aesthetic treatments. Second, minimally invasive procedures are very common. As they are affordable and causes little downtime, people are more willing to seek their plastic surgeon. Third, innovative technological developments continue. Technological advancements allow quick and convenient treatments. As mentioned already, robotic FUE is one of such advancements. It is difficult how far the technology will develop in the future but I am certain that safer and more effective aesthetic procedures will become possible in the near future.  


    Q. What are your thoughts on aesthetic medicine in Korea?

    When there is a great boom in the market of aesthetic medicine, there are also those doctors who are only after selfish gains. They are only concerned with making profits. Some of these doctors are not skilled and do not care about their patients. However, Korean doctors are not like that. I think they see the rapid growth as an opportunity to improve their skills. I am very surprised to see all the studies that are published from Korea. As a plastic surgeon, I find it very encouraging. I can see that Korean doctors are trying hard to improve their field and leading it in the right direction. I believe this is what drives the growth of aesthetic medicine in Korea.


    Article/Je-hyun Oh

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