Toi et moi
Many people get confused when they hear the term “plastic surgery.” They may think about cosmetic surgery, which consists of elective procedures to change the size or shape of certain body parts to make it more aesthetically pleasing. However, cosmetic surgery is only one type of plastic surgery. The other type is reconstructive surgery.
In some ways, reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery are similar. Both are performed by board certified plastic surgeons in NC, and both are used to improve aesthetics. However, reconstructive surgery is different in that it is intended to correct an abnormality that occurs due to an injury, disease, or congenital defect. It may serve to improve function as well as appearance. Cosmetic surgery is used to improve the appearance of body parts that look and function normally but are just not to the individual’s liking.
There are many different reasons to perform reconstructive surgery. Here are a few of them.
1. Wound Care
A severe laceration or burn that extends down through several layers of tissue may require reconstructive surgical procedures, such as skin grafting. Skin grafts can consist of allografts, which come from another donor, or autografts, which are taken from another portion of the patient’s body where the skin is thicker.
2. Breast Reduction or Reconstruction
Some women develop abnormally large breasts as adolescents due to a condition called macromastia. These can put excess weight on the spine and lead to back problems. A breast reduction surgery can decrease the size of the breasts, hopefully resolving the pain as a result.
Another condition that can affect breast tissue is cancer. It is sometimes necessary to remove the breast completely via a procedure called a mastectomy. Breast reconstruction can then be performed to restore normal proportions.
3. Facial Surgeries
These are commonly performed on people, often children, who have a birth defect that affects both their appearance and sometimes their physiology. An example of such a defect is a cleft lip/palate. It is a fairly common condition in which the two sides of the face do not join together properly when the baby is still developing in the womb. In addition to affecting the child’s appearance, it can also cause snoring and other breathing problems.
Facial reconstructive surgery can also occur when a person suffers an injury due to a trauma. Frostbite is another example of a condition that can require facial reconstruction.
Patients interested in reconstruction surgery should be careful in choosing a doctor. A surgeon who specializes primarily in cosmetic surgery may not be suitable.