Plastic surgery is a surgical specialty involving the restoration, reconstruction, or alteration of the human body.
Plastic surgery can be divided into 2 categories. One is reconstructive surgery which aims to reconstruct a part of the body to improve its functioning. It includes craniofacial surgery, hand surgery, microsurgery, and treatment of the burns. The other is cosmetic or aesthetic surgery which aims at improving the appearance of the body. Both of these techniques are commonly used throughout the world, especially South Korea.
Plastic surgery sub-specialties
Plastic surgery is a broad field, and may be subdivided further:
- Aesthetic surgery
aesthetic surgery includes facial and body surgery for aesthetic purposes. Plastic surgeons use cosmetic surgical principles in all reconstructive surgical problems as well as isolated operations to improve overall appearance.
- Burn surgery
Burn surgery generally takes place in tho phases: acute burn surgery is the treatment immediately after a burn, reconstructive burn surgery takes place after the burn wounds have healed.
- Craniofacial surgery
Craniofacial surgery is a surgical subspecialty that deals with congenital and acquired deformities of the head, skull, face, neck, jaws and associated structures.
Crainofacial surgery is divided into pediatric and adult craniofacial surgery. Pediatric surgery mostly revolves around the treatment of congenital anomalies of the crainofacial skeleton and soft tissues such as cleft lip and palate, crainosynostosis, and pediatric fractures.
Adult craniofacial surgery deals mostly with fractures and secondary surgeries (such as orbital reconstruction) along with orthognathic surgery. Craniofacial surgery is an important part of all plastic surgery training programs, further training and subspecialisation is obtained via a craniofacial fellowship.
- Hand surgery
Hand surgery deals with both surgical and non-surgical treatment of conditions and problems that may take place in the hand or upper extremity (commonly from the tip of the hand to the shoulder) including injury and infection. Hand surgery may be practiced by graduates of general surgery, orthopedic surgery, and plastic surgery.
Microsurgery is generally concered with the reconsturction of missing tissues by transferring a piece of tissue to the reconstuction site and reconnecting blood vessels.
- Pediatric plastic surgery
Children often face medical issues very different from the experiences of an adult patient. Many birth defects or syndromes present at birth are best treated in childhood, and pediatric plastic surgeons specialize in treating these conditions in children. Conditions commonly treated by pediatric plastic surgeons include craniofacial anomalies, Syndactyly (webbing of the fingers and toes), Polydactyly (excess fingers and toes at birth), cleft lip and palate, and congenital hand deform
Who might benefit off of plastic surgery
- Those with congenital abnormalities
- Those with burns or other serious injuries
- Those who want to have confidence boost by improving their appearance
How plastic surgery is done
In plastic surgery, the transfer of skin tissue (skin grafting) is a very common procedure. Skin grafts can be derived from the recipient or donors:
- Autografts are taken from the recipient. If absent or deficient of natural tissue, alternatives can be cultured sheets of epithelial cells in vitro or synthetic compounds, such as integra, which consists of silicone and bovine tendon collagen with glycosaminoglycans.
- Allografts are taken from a donor of the same species.
- Xenografts are taken from a donor of a different species.
When should you consider plastic surgery?
You should consider plastic surgery when you feel serious unhappiness or unsatisfaction because of your looks or part of your body, or when you find it difficutl to do certain task because of non-functioning body part.
Reconstructive surgery vs Aesthetic surgery
Reconstuctive surgery is done in order to fix non-functioning body that has caused an abnormal change in body shape or appearance. This is done in general hospital.
Aesthetic surgery or plastic surgery is performed to change body shape or appearance, usually when no medical condition is present. However, sometimes, the surgery treats conditions that have resulted from another medical condition that is no longer an issue. You can have plastic surgery at plastic surgery clinics or hospitals.
Plastic surgery risks and side effects
Plastic surgery, like every other surgery procedures, don’t come without risks, such as:
- Pain and discomfort
- Nerve damage or numbness
- Anesthesia issues
- Poor cosmetic outcome
Reducing the risk
Like any surgery, the patient has the ability to reduce the risk of complications. Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, are extremely important before surgery, as non-smokers heal faster and have less scarring. Some plastic surgeons will not perform surgery on current smokers because the final outcome may not be as good. In addition, eating a healthy diet before and after the procedure can speed healing and improve wound closure, which also minimizes scarring.
The best way to reduce the risk of a bad outcome is to choose the surgeon who performs the procedure wisely. Your safest bet is to utilize the help of medical tourism agents as they have reliable and up-to-date data of anything regarding plastic surgery, as well as the best current doctors for any specific surgery.