In October 2017, Dr. Truswell was instilled as President of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS). The Academy is the world’s largest specialty association for facial plastic surgery, representing more than 2,500 facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons throughout the world.
Over the past four decades, Dr. Truswell’s practice has included major head and neck cancer resection and reconstruction, and facial trauma. Today, his practice focuses on cosmetic facial surgery. In addition to running his own thriving cosmetic surgery practice, Dr. Truswell frequently travels throughout the United States, South America, Asia and Europe to lecture and present on panels. He is a fellow on the FACE TO FACE Committee – the AAFPRS National Domestic Violence Project, and Clinical Instructor in the Division of Otolaryngology at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in Farmington, Connecticut.
BITB spoke with Dr. Truswell about his career passion and how he sees facial plastic surgery changing in the coming years.
www.truswellplasticsurg.com1. Can you tell us about your passion for your career and who/what inspired you to become a facial plastic surgeon?
My mother was an artist in oils, watercolors, pastels, and pencil. My son is a glass artist and an illustrator. The passion and love of art flows through my family. What I do is, of course, art. The medium is different. Art engages me in my entire professional life.
I always wanted to be a surgeon. In medical school, the students spend time rotating through all the specialties. The specialty of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery caught my attention. The specialty includes many facets of head and neck medicine and surgery. Head and neck cancer surgery, trauma and facial reconstruction, and facial cosmetic surgery interested me most. I did my residency at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in the Division of what was then Otorhinolaryngology – Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery caught my eye and my heart. Performing cancer surgery that was so destructive to facial anatomy yet being able to reconstruct these terrible defects at the same time was not just technical work; it was also art. Rebuilding faces after terrible injuries is also an art. And facial cosmetic surgery is the sublime wing of Facial Plastic Surgery. I have been in practice 42 years now and for the last 20 I have done once Facial Plastic Surgery that is cosmetic. I still love going to work every day.
2. What are the most popular procedures (surgical and non-surgical) that your patients are asking for right now?
Early in my career, rhinoplasty was the most common cosmetic procedure I did. Today the entire palette of rejuvenation options are in great demand, from mede-spa treatments, light chemical peels and microdermabrasion, to minimally invasive treatments, the neuromodulators, Botox, Xeomin, Dysport, lip enhancement, fillers, e.g. Juvederm, Radiesse, Restylane, Vollure, Belotero, and volumizers, for example Sculptra and Voluma. Laser treatments are also in demand such as laser hair removal, treatment of brown spots and broken capillaries, laser facial, and Fractional laser resurfacing. And certainly surgical rejuvenation options including mini lifts, facelifts, neck lifts, endoscopic forehead lifts, eyelid lifts, chin implants, and cheek implants.
3. How do you envision facial plastic surgery changing in the next 10-15 years?
Rejuvenation operations will become far less invasive. More and more minimally invasive procedures will replace conventional surgery. In the not too distant future, we will see mesenchymal stem cells used to rejuvenate and revitalize the face with tissue bio-identical to the patient, creating permanent fillers and volumizers. Trauma induced tissue loss such as loss of an ear will be repaired three genetic tissue engineering by creating a tissue engineered human nasal cartilage on a PLGA absorbable scaffold and shaped as desired. This will replace the need for rib graft harvesting for reconstructive rhinoplasties. It will supplant synthetic chin and cheek implants.