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Plastic Surgery: Hope for Everyone

Plastic Surgery: Hope for Everyone

by Shankari Das · August 24, 2021

Plastic surgery has become a popular term especially in the last two decades. The availability of plastic surgery options and the number of people undergoing it have increased by leaps and bounds.

It has become a practice that celebrities and influential people undergo this treatment. It is done to restore the function of your body part. Unlike cosmetic surgery, which enhances your appearance, plastic surgery helps to repair or reconstruct various parts of your body.


What is Plastic Surgery?

The term plastic surgery is derived from the Greek word ‘plastikos’ meaning ‘to mould’. Your plastic surgeon will perform these procedures to restore the function and appearance of various parts of your body.

Plastic surgery can be of two kinds – firstly, reconstructive surgery and secondly, cosmetic or aesthetic surgery. Reconstructive surgery restores the function lost of any of your body parts.

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Do you know what exactly plastic surgery means? Most people think that plastic surgery consists of the most popular surgeries that film artists undergo to retain their youthful appearance. However, there is a fine divide between Cosmetic Surgery and Plastic Surgery.

Plastic surgery is primarily reconstructive surgery. The surgery restores the functioning of your body parts which could be affected by burns, an accident, cancer, disease, or birth defects.

Whereas cosmetic or aesthetic surgery improves or alters your looks or appearance. Plastic surgery procedures can be done on any part of your body, right from the hair to your feet.

The main area of plastic surgery is to set right the defects in your body to reconstruct that body part. The surgery gives a natural appearance. It also improves the normal functioning of your body parts.

Your plastic surgeon can reconstruct and repair your missing or damaged tissue and skin. The primary aim of plastic surgery is to increase the functioning of the affected area. Note that improving the appearance of your body parts is the secondary aim of a plastic surgeon.

Plastic surgery is very different from cosmetic surgery though the two terms go hand in hand. Cosmetic surgery is surgery carried out solely to change your appearance to achieve what they feel is a more desirable look.

Some Plastic Surgery Procedures

1 Burn repair surgery.
2 Hand surgery.
3 Reconstruction surgery of breasts also includes enhancement and reduction.
4 Repair of congenital disabilities. It includes reconstruction and repair of cleft palate and also repair of extremity defects.
5 Scar revision surgery.
6 Reconstruction of lower extremities.


Difference Between Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery

Both these surgery procedures can improve your body parts. However, the philosophies that guide their training, goals, purpose, and research are quite different. Each specialization has its specific goals that carry out a distinct set of surgical procedures.

Cosmetic surgery is a medical discipline that focuses on enhancing your physical appearance through surgical techniques. While plastic surgery is dedicated to the reconstruction of your facial and body defects.

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Cosmetic surgery can be performed on different areas of your neck, head, and body. Cosmetic surgery is elective, and you can choose to have it. The treatment has nothing to do with functioning; it only increases your aesthetic appeal.

Plastic surgery is dedicated to the reconstruction of your facial and body defects. Birth disorders, burns, trauma, accident, and disease could have caused these defects. In simple terms, Plastic surgery intends to correct dysfunctional areas of your body. Hence they are reconstructive.

What is Cosmetic Surgery?

The goal of the cosmetic surgeon is to enhance the look of your face and body aesthetically. Hence the techniques, procedures, and principles used to focus entirely on this outcome. The goal is to improve the aesthetic appeal, and symmetry of the body part on which the surgery is performed.

Your surgeon can perform surgery on any area of your body, including your neck and head. Cosmetic surgery is generally performed by your plastic surgeon as well as other doctors with medical experience.

Cosmetic Surgery Procedures:
Body contouring – includes a tummy tuck, liposuction, and gynecomastia treatment.
Breast enhancement – Breast enlargement, reduction, and lifting.
Facial rejuvenation – Brow Lift, double eyelid lift, facelift, and neck lift.
Facial contouring – Cheek enhancement, chin, and rhinoplasty or nose job.
Skin rejuvenation – Laser resurfacing, botox, and filler treatment.


Why Opt for Plastic Surgery?

Why do teens seek plastic surgery? Surprisingly more and more teens today are opting for plastic surgery.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons or ASPS, more than 200,000 people who are aged 19 years and younger – had either undergone major or minor plastic surgical procedures in one year.

This is a huge figure that clearly shows people opting for this treatment at a very young age.

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According to the ASPS, teens view plastic surgery as a way to fit in and look acceptable among peers and friends. In contrast, adults are opting for this surgery as a way to stand out from the crowd.

Some people turn to plastic surgery to change a part of the body that makes them feel uncomfortable. In contrast, others go for it to correct a physical defect.

For example, boys with gynecomastia having excess breast tissue often opt for plastic surgery. These excess tissues in the breast area do not go away with time or with any weight loss programs. So plastic surgery is the only solution to remove these excess tissues.

In addition, boys and girls with a birthmark might often turn to laser treatment to lessen the appearance of these scars.

There are others who turn to plastic surgeons when they want a cosmetic change, probably because they are not happy about the way they look. Some such procedures include – dermabrasion (a procedure that can help smooth severe acne scars) or otoplasty (surgery to pin back ears that stick out). After a plastic surgery procedure, they feel more comfortable with their look.

The most common plastic surgery procedures popular among teens are ear surgery, acne scar treatment, nose reshaping, and breast reduction.


Plastic Surgery Techniques

Many different methods and techniques are used to perform reconstructive plastic surgery procedures, such as skin grafts, tissue expansion, and flap surgery. These are discussed below in detail for your knowledge.

These techniques are very helpful in treating scars, burns, scars, and large wounds that are easily visible. Depending on your wound or scar, your surgeon will select the best technique.

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There are several techniques commonly used by plastic surgeons like:

1 Skin grafts – Your doctor will remove a healthy portion of the skin (donor site ) and use it to replace lost or damaged skin. A skin graft might be done to cover skin areas that have been damaged or are missing. Commonly used to treat burns, scars, and large, deep wounds.

2 Tissue expansion – During the surgery, your surrounding tissue stretches to enable your body to grow extra skin. Your doctor will insert a balloon-like device called an expander under your skin. Liquid is filled in the expander stretch your skin. This process helps reconstruct the nearby areas.

3 Skin flap surgery – Your doctor will transfer a piece of tissue, along with the blood vessel, from one part of your body to another to keep it alive. The tissue remains partially attached to your body when repositioned.

4 Endoscopic surgery – Your doctor will use an endoscope during the surgery which is a tubular probe with a tiny camera, and a bright light. The device is inserted into a small incision. Images are transmitted back to a screen, which the surgeon watches while performing the surgery.

Additional Plastic Surgery Techniques

Apart from the above, there are additional techniques surgeons will use during their treatment, such as:

A Grafting or fat transfer – Your surgeon will remove fat from one part of your body and insert it into another area of your body. The treatment corrects unevenness.

B Prosthetic devices – Your doctor will use artificial limbs to treat the affected area.

C Vacuum closure– Suction is generally applied to the wound through a sterile piece of foam to draw out infectious fluid and encourage healing.


Is Plastic Surgery the Right Choice?

Reconstructive surgery can help repair significant defects or problems. Your doctor might combine the procedure with cosmetic surgery for additional benefits.

Most plastic surgery procedures are just like any normal surgery. They involve anesthesia, treatment, wound healing, and other risks. Surgeons who perform these surgeries make sure they can understand and handle the stress of the surgery.

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But what about having cosmetic surgery only to change your appearance? As with everything, there are always right and wrong reasons to have the surgery done. 

You need to fully understand that cosmetic surgery will not change your life drastically. Even the most certified plastic surgeons spend a lot of quality time with patients interviewing them to understand if they are a good candidate for the surgery. Surgeons also ensure that teens are emotionally mature to handle the surgery and it’s after-effects. 

Surgeons strictly do not perform specific procedures like rhinoplasty on teens until they are sure that the candidate is old enough and has finished growing. Your surgeon will only do rhinoplasty surgery once you are 15 or 16 years old. 

Similarly, girls interested in enlarging their breasts for cosmetic reasons must be more than 18 years old. It is because saline implants are only approved for women who are above 18 years or older. 

The main goal of plastic surgery is to reconstruct your body part. The procedure also tries to enable dysfunctional body parts to function in their natural mode.

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Final Thoughts

As with any surgery, there are always risks associated. The degree of risk will solely depend on the size of your affected area and your overall health.

It will also depend on your surgeon’s level of experience. Therefore, it is important you should choose a licensed physician who can legally perform plastic surgery. In short, it is extremely important to do your research before choosing your cosmetic surgeon.

It is true that some procedures do carry specific risks, but general risks only include discomfort, pain, infection, bleeding, and in some cases, scarring. You should contact your plastic surgeon if you have any concerns after surgery, like unexpected swelling, pain, bruising, discharge, or other side effects. Do doubt there are downsides to the surgery, but the results are encouraging enough to give it a try.

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