Many people have misconceptions about plastic surgery. They assume it’s mostly for wealthy or famous people who want to change their appearance.
But cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery is much more than that. It can save lives by helping patients with open fractures, large wounds, burns, and congenital disabilities.
What is Plastic Surgery?
Surgery like Bellevue plastic surgery covers a broad range of procedures that alter the shape and appearance of body parts. It can be divided into two categories: reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery.
Reconstructive procedures restore function and a normal appearance to damaged or abnormal areas. They include congenital disabilities like cleft lip and palate, facial injuries from accidents, burns, and medical conditions like breast cancer or head and neck tumors. Some reconstructive surgeries are considered medically necessary and are covered by health insurance.
Cosmetic procedures are performed to enhance a person’s appearance for aesthetic reasons. They are not essential or medically required but may increase self-esteem and improve a person’s quality of life. These types of procedures are usually covered by private health insurance. Surgeons in otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat), dermatology, and oral and maxillofacial surgery have advanced training in plastic surgery. Plastic surgeons have specialized knowledge in craniofacial surgery, hand surgery, and microsurgery.
Reconstructive surgery alters body tissue for medical reasons, restoring normal appearance and function. It includes procedures to repair congenital disabilities, such as cleft lips and palates; severe injuries from accidents or war wounds; and certain medical conditions, like burns.
Reconstructive surgery is available on the NHS, subject to a referral from your GP or specialist consultant. It’s also available privately.
Reconstructive plastic surgeons have advanced skills and techniques not found in other specialties, such as facial reconstruction using free flaps of skin, muscle, bone, and fat; reshaping the nose through Rhinoplasty; and reconstructive microsurgery. They also use cultured sheets of epithelial cells, xenografts (taken from another animal), and other materials. They work closely with colleagues in other departments, including dermatology, otolaryngology (ENT)/head and neck surgery, and oral and maxillofacial surgery.
Cosmetic surgery alters body parts for aesthetic purposes. The most popular cosmetic plastic surgery procedures include breast augmentation, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), and nose reshaping. This type of treatment is not covered by health insurance and may be expensive, but it can improve your confidence and self-image.
A tummy tuck is another standard cosmetic procedure. It removes excess fat and tightens separated muscles in the abdominal area.
Other types of cosmetic plastic surgery are facelifts, liposuction, and varicose vein removal. These treatments may be performed by plastic surgeons or other doctors, such as dermatologists or otolaryngologists (ears, nose, and throat surgeons). When choosing a plastic surgeon for reconstructive surgery or cosmetic treatment, selecting someone with medical training and experience performing the necessary procedure is essential. This will help lower your risk of complications, such as infection or scarring. It’s also crucial to follow home-care instructions for the safest recovery.
After plastic surgery, there is a critical recovery process. This involves taking it easy, resting, and avoiding activities that could increase pain or swelling. This is especially true with breast augmentation, tummy tuck, and other procedures that involve the abdomen or chest area.
Some people may recover from a surgical procedure within a few days, but most will need to stay home for at least a week or longer to ensure proper healing. During this time, patients should ask a friend or family member to be available to help them with everyday tasks. This person should be able to wake them for their medications, allow them to the bathroom, and prepare food.
It’s also a good idea to avoid caffeine and alcohol, as these can dehydrate the body and slow the healing process. Patients should not resume their regular workout regimen until their surgeon says it’s okay. This will reduce the risk of complications such as re-opening incisions.