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The Congresses of ISAPS

The first aim defined in the “Act of Organization” of the Society required the organization of international congresses.

The First Congress

Only 9 months of time were available to prepare for this first International Congress on Aesthetic Surgery.

Apart from information through Plastic Surgery journals to the National Societies, the Rio Congress was promoted in a booth on occasion of the ASPRS meeting in Montreal, October 3, 1971(36). As it was foreseen to use the International Microfiche Journal for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for publication of the papers in microform, the first microfiche made was projected in a microfiche viewer for demonstration.

At the Executive Foundation in Montreal, reports were given by both David Serson and Ulrich Hinderer. Considerable discussion was held regarding invitation of Dr. Ivo Pitanguy and it was approved that he be invited to participate as one of the panelists.

The day before the Congress, on February 5, 1972 in Rio de Janeiro, a press release was held at the Hotel Nacional with the presence of President John Lewis, Salvador Castañares, David Serson and Ulrich Hinderer. The aims of the Society were presented and the reason why Brazil was chosen for this First International Congress also as to the subjects to be covered. Almost only Brazilian Journalists were present. They repeatedly insisted to know what Ivo Pitanguy was going to present. They were informed that he was invited to participate on the Panel on “Protruding Ears”. With surprise we read the next day on several Newspapers, as the most important information about the Congress: “Pitanguy will demonstrate to 350 surgeons how to correct ears”, thus proving the status of National hero achieved in the Press.

Several handicaps were anticipated before the Congress. “Nevertheless it was a success thanks to a carefully prepared full Scientific Program”(41,60,61,62). Over 400 Plastic Surgeons from almost 30 countries attended the meeting.

The pitfalls had multiple causes: Difficulties to find the appropriate site and Hotel, as in Guarujá and Brasilia the hotel facilities were inadequate and in Sao Paulo, almost the week before, the Latinamerican Plastic Surgery Congress was held.

In Rio de Janeiro the Hotel Nacional did not fulfill the promises to have it ready for the Congress; many facilities, including the elevators, did not function and the Auditorium was not yet completely finished; the Tourist Secretary of Rio -Guanabara, who promised 400-500 tickets for the Carnival at the “Municipal”, only offered for sale 150; foreign money from the inscriptions, once converted, could not be taken out of the country; the audiovisual equipment, requested to Dr. Serson several months before by Ulrich Hinderer, did not arrive (only 2 projectors and 2 carrousels were available on the evening before); 40 carrousels, -thanks to the help of Joseph Tamerin and Kodak- had to be flown in from Sao Paulo, but did not arrive until noon of the first Congress’ day; Nevertheless, thereafter the audiovisual facilities were well functioning thanks to the help of Dr. Martins and of another assistant of Dr. Serson. A great part of the problems were caused by the fact that the Local Arrangement Chairman, David Serson, was from Sao Paulo and could not count on the help of Ivo Pitanguy with his great influence in Rio de Janeiro, as the last did not form part of the Local Arrangement’s Foundation.

ISAPS First Meeting

The Social Program included an Opening Cocktail at the Hotel Nacional, a Brazilian show at the Hotel, two sight-seeing tours and the banquet on February 11 at a Club in Rio de Janeiro.

The preparations for the Scientific Program were managed from Madrid by Ulrich Hinderer who invited Mario Gonzalez-Ulloa and Seiichi Ohmori as Co-Chairmen. An Abstract Book was edited in Madrid with long abstracts and was positively commented at the General Assembly as well as the fact that the Congress was held in a single Auditorium. The International Microform Journal of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery became the official Journal of the Society for publication of the full papers. Besides 5 and 10 minute Free Papers and the film program, several Panels were included: about “The Aging Face”, “Reduction Mammaplasty”, “Protruding Ears” and “Rhinoplasty”, each of them divided into technical approach, problems and complications. A Round Table was devoted to “The present status and future development of Aesthetic Surgery and its Training”, with 22 participants, one per country, with the purpose to establish comparable minimal standards in all countries. Special lectures were given on the “History of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery” by Mario Gonzalez-Ulloa, on “The arts and Plastic Surgery” and on “Psycho-social aspects of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery”.

On the Second General Assembly, February 11, 1972, President John Lewis mentioned the difficulties of this particular Congress, and “thanked the membership for their indulgence and for the excellent manner in which the membership had conducted itself under tiring circumstances”. Mario Gonzalez-Ulloa in his History report(2) mentions that the problems “were solved through the good humor, efficiency and definite good will of those in attendance”. “The plunging hammers over our heads can still be heard while reading our papers”. “The beauty and richness of Rio with its constant ondulating rhythm helped forgetting any unpleasantries. It is most definite that had it not been for Ulrich Hinderer, Chairman of the Scientific Program and Marlene, who did so much to make this Congress possible, it would have been a total chaos. This event showed us the need of adequate planning, good delegation of authority and course’s supervision. After all was set and done, ISAPS had taken off; it was flying well and airborne for good”.

The Second Congress

The Second Congress(64) convened in Jerusalem, Israel, June 19, 1973, where Dr. John R. Lewis, Jr., transferred the Presidency to Dr. Mario Gonzalez-Ulloa “in a ceremony held at the Knesset, under the magnificent Chagal tapestries. Local Arrangement Chairman, Leo Bornstein, scheduled an afternoon with Moshe Dayan at Airgon, visits to historical sites, and a cocktail reception on the opening evening at the home of the President of Israel (Fig. 5). A popular lunch speaker was the soon-to-be Premier Isaac Rabin”(2).

ISAPS First Meeting

The Program Chairman, Paul Wilflingseder with Ralph Millard and Bernard Hirshowitz as Co-Chairmen, selected excellent papers and Panels and made the scientific aspect most successful. The Congress was followed by an Instructional Course run by Richard C. Webster and Zvi Neumann.

The Third Congress

The Third Congress in Paris, was the first in which the ISAPS officially participated on the Scientific Program of a quadrennial Congress of the IPRS(65). Local Arrangement Chairman was Dr. Roger Mouly. The Scientific Program was under the overall control of the host Society and was conducted by Dr. Lester Cramer with Co-Chairman, Dr. Jacques Oulié. Live television programs were held on “Rhinoplasty” with Dr. Guy Jost and on “Abdominoplasty” with Dr. Mario Gonzalez-Ulloa as Surgeon and Ulrich Hinderer as Moderator of the “Abdominal Lipectomy” Panel(66).

ISAPS First Meeting

The Social Program was run by our beloved Chairwoman Mrs Michael Lewin, Berta, (Fig. 6) who also prepared an outstanding banquet, “The Creator’s Dinner”, in a beautiful setting where Mario Gonzalez-Ulloa transferred the Presidency to Ulrich Hinderer (Figs. 7 -9) (67). In the same room, in an also memorable banquet, our President Guy Jost installed President Blair O. Rogers in 1993 (Fig. 17).

The following 9 Congresses

Although each one had its particular characteristics, were all outstanding and well attended:

Mexico: Chairman of Local Arrangements, Mario Gonzalez-Ulloa and Jose Guerrerosantos, Scientific Program Chairman;

Rio de Janeiro: Chairman of Local Arrangements, Ricardo Baroudi and Mario Gonzalez-Ulloa, Scientific Program Chairman;

Tokyo: Chairman of Local Arrangement, Seiichi Ohmori and Julien Reich, Scientific Program Chairman;

Montreal: Jean-Paul Bosse; Bruce Williams, William R. Lindsay, Paule Regnault and Colette Perras;

Madrid: Chairman of Local Arrangements, Benito Vilar-Sancho and Ulrich Hinderer, Chairman of Scientific Foundation (Figs. 10-11)

New York: Chairman of Local Arrangements: James Smith (Fig.12), and Sherrell Aston, Chairman of Scientific Foundation;

Zurich: Chairman of Local Arrangement, Trudy Vogt-Suter, and Frederic Nicolle, Chairman of the Scientific Foundation;

Guadalajara: Chairman of Local Arrangements, Jose Guerrerosantos and Thomas Biggs, Chairman of the Scientific Foundation;

And the recent XII Congress in Paris, under the Chairmanship of Guy Jost, with Blair O. Rogers as Scientific Program Chairman, another highlight in our History.