On March 29, 2022, the UMFST-UMCH Campus hosted an edition of the ReachHigher event series with Dr. med. Maria Heller. In her lecture, she elaborated on the daily professional life of a plastic and aesthetic surgeon.
During the event, Dr. Heller emphasized that her specialty is often associated in the public mind with “beauty” alone, but that it is much more than that. In addition, she pointed out that Aesthetic Surgery has long been unrecognized as part of the specialty and is still underrepresented in residency training. However, with its growing popularity on social media, many young specialists now want to focus exclusively on cosmetic surgery. One problem with this is that there is no specialist standard in Aesthetic Surgery and anyone can call themselves an expert in this field without a formal qualification underpinning a certain level of competence. This lack of regulation leads to negative practice patterns, with some physicians offering limited or risky treatments that can be irreparable and cannot be reversed by minimally invasive procedures. In her presentation, Dr. Heller also addressed the negative consequences of some aesthetic treatments, citing several examples. In addition, she emphasized that Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery can especially help people who have been affected by injuries or deformities.
Dr. Heller is head of the Department of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery at the Dermatologikum Bremen, which she established. She is also active in lecture and workshop activities, among other duties, as a key opinion leader for the company Alma Lasers. In addition, she won 2nd place in the Social Media Award 2022 of the DGPRÄC (German Society for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery). She is particularly active on Instagram, where she has a strong focus on the “education” factor. At ReachHigher, she also pointed out that social media is an important tool for engaging patients and facilitating communication between them and their respective physicians.