My idea of writing an audiovisual work about aesthetic surgery has been crowned by success, for which I am extremely grateful. In Volume 1 of the Manual of Aesthetic Surgery, for the first time treatments were described simply, clearly, and concisely using text, pictures, and videos, so that young doctors who want to learn about this area, either as interested students and doctors or as young specialists in aesthetic/plastic surgery, could acquire the basic knowledge and surgical expertise they need without making treatment mistakes.
The manual is intended to be a basic tool and is not for professionals and doctors who have been practicing in this specialty for a long time. It is intended to be a textbook for doctors who are starting out in this field and want to learn about it.
Naturally, it was not possible to mention all the tricks, subtleties, and latest operation methods, suture materials, implants, etc. in these volumes. Every aesthetic surgeon must learn these through further training and conferences. However, for every surgical technique in trauma or abdominal surgery, the basics of the operation must be standardized. This was achieved well with Volume I of the manual. It has been the most successful book of its kind for Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, and has been published in Spanish, Russian, and Chinese because of the enormous interest in it.
I had never thought that this book would be so well accepted. It has become an interdisciplinary textbook for surgeons, ENT and dental surgeons, plastic surgeons, dermatologists, gynecologists, orthopedists, and urologists and has a place in many hospital libraries throughout the world.
After the first volume was published, I received invitations to give lectures and surgical courses and take up chairmanships from almost everywhere in the world. I have been accredited as an honorary professor at foreign universities and see my life's task in plastic/aesthetic surgery as being to bring together all specialties that teach and research the field of aesthetic surgery in order to ensure excellent quality assurance in relation to patient care.
As a result of my lectures to the most varied specialist societies on every continent, I have discovered again and again that there is competition between ENT surgeons, dental surgeons, and plastic surgeons in almost every country, even though all three specialties perform extremely valuable work in the field of aesthetic surgery.
The leading plastic surgeons of the past, Diefenbach, von Gräfe, Joseph, and Lexer, were either ENT surgeons or general surgeons. We must never forget our history and the disciplines from which the specialty of aesthetic/plastic surgery has developed.
Anyone who has had sound surgical training and has an interest in the field of aesthetic surgery will value this book as a benchmark. It can help in allowing the specialty of aesthetic surgery to be taught in an interdisciplinary way, so that the specialties concerned can mutually exchange knowledge and thus contribute to further progress in this field.
Aesthetic surgery can only achieve a serious basis in the long-term through constant training, the exchange of ideas, attendance at conferences, and the opening up of all specialties that perform valuable work in this field. Neither plastic surgery nor ENT and dental surgery can claim this specialty for themselves alone, as there is too much overlap both historically and in the specialist further-training guidelines. For this reason, work is carried out in an interdisciplinary way at the clinic at Lake Constance with the departments ENT and plastic surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, maxillofacial surgery, aesthetic dental surgery, dermatology, and venous, hair and laser surgery. This is the only way a large clinic can cover the entire spectrum. The same applies to a well-trained aesthetic surgeon. He will always have main areas within his field of work and will be unable to cover all operations professionally alone. This is why the model of the clinic at Lake Constance will be successful in the long term, as in this clinic different groups of specialists are unified and offer interdisciplinary aesthetic surgery. This is the clinic of the future.
Every year approximately 3,000 operations are carried out at the clinic at Lake Constance, which has five operating theaters and 50 beds. The Manual of Aesthetic Surgery should be seen as the symbiosis of my lifetime work with the Bodenseeklinik. It has been published to coincide with the building of the new clinic (completion 2003). In view of the great success and enormous demand for Volume 1, Volume 2 has now been published. The building of the new clinic has resulted in a delay but Volume 2 uses the same principles as Volume 1 and describes the most important aesthetic operations in the torso area in a simple, clear, and concise way, providing a standard basis for novices, not for professionals. All physicians with an interest in aesthetic surgery can build on this and refine their surgical techniques during the course of their life. The basic principles must be standardized, so that dangers and risks can be reduced. Rhinoplasty should not be performed differently in London and Rome, and liposuction techniques should be the same in New York and Tokyo.
Just as in abdominal surgery, there are basic principles that must be observed so that the operations and results can be reproduced and serious treatment errors can be avoided.
Naturally, there are variations in the operations, whether the procedure is rhinoplasty, otoplasty, breast implants, or liposuction. The same applies to operations on the appendix or tonsils. The basic surgical technique used, however, is always the same. The anatomy never lies. It is therefore essential that the basic operations are standardized, particularly in aesthetic surgery, which I consider to be the most difficult type of surgery, as the surgeon must not only be well trained, but must also be a psychologist and artist. Volume 2 of the manual attempts to do this.
Substantial reconstructive procedures, such as breast reconstruction (reduction, tightening) and body lifting have been intentionally avoided. If necessary, this field will be looked at in another volume, as there is enormous potential for error and only experienced doctors working in a clinic environment are capable of learning this.
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