Lifestyle & Leisure

The Impact of Plastic Surgery in Reconstructive Procedures

Reconstructive plastic surgeons play a vital role in trauma care. For example, burn patients requiring reconstructive surgery require special expertise to improve physical functionality and minimize scarring while reshaping the skin.

This study uses a validated multicenter surgical outcomes database to examine plastic surgery’s impact in a robust cohort focusing on reconstructive procedures. Overall, complication rates remain low for these cases.

Trauma Reconstruction

The ability to restore a person’s appearance and function following trauma is at the core of reconstructive Bellevue plastic surgery. As such, it is often a surgical discipline that relies on technique and technology. This includes advances in microsurgery and the development of complex tissue flaps.

For example, facial injuries may result in sizeable bone fractures and damaged skin that require repair. Reconstructive surgeons can work with orthopedic doctors to provide coverage over exposed bones and to reduce the risk of infection, using wires, plates, and screws as needed.

Other reconstructive procedures include repairing congenital disabilities (cleft lip and palate, webbed fingers) and medical conditions (lung and breast cancer). Unlike cosmetic surgery, reconstructive procedures are typically deemed medically necessary.

This makes them more likely to be covered by insurance. However, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery can sometimes overlap. This can be seen in the case of rhinoplasty, which can serve both functional and aesthetic purposes. The human body is naturally asymmetric, so some cosmetic surgeries aim to create more balanced and symmetrical features.

Congenital Hand Deformities

Many deformities of the arms and hands are present from birth because of disruption in the formation of the fetus’ hands during development. These conditions are generally due to genetic mutations.

These include limb deficiencies like radial club hand, short or missing fingers, and shortened upper extremity length (longitudinal deficiencies). There are also defects such as syndactyly (webbed or fused fingers), extra digits (polydactyly), and a variety of other abnormalities such as clinodactyly (abnormally curved fingers).

Plastic surgery can be used to correct all of these issues. Procedures involve:

  • Separating fused fingers.
  • Building a thumb from the index finger or toes.
  • Creating extra digits by taking bones from other parts of the body.
  • Closing gaps in the hand.

The goal is to improve function and appearance while helping your child develop confidence in using their hands. This may be done with physical therapy to enhance recovery and increase strength.

Craniofacial Anomalies

Anomalies during a person’s head and face growth can affect the brain’s structure, which needs plenty of space to develop. Surgically, plastic surgery can correct these conditions to ensure that the brain has room to grow and function normally.

There are many craniofacial anomalies; some are common, such as cleft lip and palate, and others are rare. They may be present at birth (congenital) or develop later in life.

Most of these conditions require the expertise of a multidisciplinary team. At CHOP, the Craniofacial Program brings together pediatric experts from several specialties. The surgeons use minimally invasive methods, which means quicker healing, less risk of damaging nerves or arteries, and less pain for patients. The surgeons also try to place scars where they won’t be visible, like inside the nose or lips when possible, and in natural crease lines in the face that would have existed anyway.

Medical Conditions

Aesthetic plastic surgery focuses on transforming an individual’s appearance to enhance self-confidence and improve quality of life. It can be used to address several medical concerns, including certain congenital disabilities like cleft lip and palate, as well as craniofacial anomalies that affect the face and skull structure.

Developing new tissue flaps and implantable materials has allowed reconstructive surgeons to create better cosmetic outcomes for patients. For example, breast reconstruction often involves using implants to replace lost or damaged tissue. These materials must meet stringent criteria, such as being biocompatible, allowing for stress and strain tolerance, and providing a similar appearance to the natural tissues they replace.

Regardless of the purpose of a plastic surgery procedure, it’s important to consider its psychological impact. A comprehensive psychological evaluation will identify potential problems and ensure that individuals are mentally prepared for a successful surgery. This can help prevent emotional distress and unrealistic expectations during the recovery process.