Thoughts about Dubai

As some of you may know, I recently had the honor to serve as the Scientific Course Director for the Inaugural Middle Eastern Rhinoplasty Symposium in Dubai, UAE. It was the first course of its kind, bringing together a group of US Rhinoplasty experts to present the latest information about nasal surgery to almost 200 surgeons mostly from that region of the world. Organized by a newly formed group, the Middle Eastern Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, this symposium covered every aspect of rhinoplasty: analysis, anatomy, philosophy and techniques. Although I have had the privilege to serve as a course director or instructor for numerous courses throughout the US and oversees, this course in Dubai inspired and energized me in ways I had not experienced before from a medical meeting. Firstly, the group of instructors we assembled from the US, Turkey, and Iran was outstanding. Our approaches are all slightly different, but are unified by a commitment to excellence in this most complicated of all of the cosmetic surgeries. Seeing so much enthusiasm and interest from surgeons from so many places reminded me why I too am so motivated as a Rhinoplasty surgeon—the surgery is challenging, gratifying, and every case is different! Second, it became apparent that Rhinoplasty is becoming one of the most popular cosmetic procedures not only in the US, but throughout the world. Many of the surgeons at the meeting were from Iran—a country that has become known as the Rhinoplasty capitol of the world. This reminds us that the nose is such a central feature of the human face and has such an impact on one’s appearance for people of a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities. Finally, seeing the cases presented from patients from all over the world highlighted the fact that there is so much variation in physical features, societal attitudes, and aesthetic preferences when it comes to this operation. If one is a surgeon who services individuals of a variety of backgrounds, it becomes paramount to take on a patient-centric approach to surgery. This is an approach I have already tried to follow in my practice—to be sensitive about variations of facial features based on ethnicity or family features, to try to understand as best I can the motivations of my patients, and to avoid a “cookie cutter” approach and give the same nose to every patient. All in all, the meeting in Dubai renewed my passion and commitment to this operation. I do feel lucky to have been part of this unique symposium, but I feel far luckier that this unique and gratifiying operation is such a big part of my professional life.