Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons – What They Do and How They Do It

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Definition

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery is a surgical specialty that is performed to correct facial and body abnormalities usually caused by birth defects, injuries, diseases, or simply aging. The goal of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery is to improve body function and make the patient feel more normal in appearance and improve their self-esteem. Abnormal body structures that need to be corrected may result from injury, infection, developmental abnormalities, congenital defects, diseases, or tumors. They are also experts at treating male pattern baldness by hair transplant surgeries.

Fields of Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery and reconstruction is a very broad field and can be subdivided into the following categories:-

  • Aesthetic Surgery
    Aesthetic surgery is an essential component of plastic surgery and reconstruction. It includes altering the facial and body's physical appearance by the use of cosmetic surgical principles as well as isolated operations.
  • Burn Surgery
    Burn surgery takes place in two phases: acute and reconstructive. Acute burns care may also be provided by trauma surgeons or general surgeons immediately after the injury. Whereas, complex burns require consultation with plastic surgeons like large burns or burns of critical body areas. They are treated with reconstructive burn surgery after the burn wounds have healed.
  • Craniofacial Surgery
    Craniofacial surgery is divided into two fields: pediatric and adult craniofacial surgery. Pediatric craniofacial surgery focuses on the treatment of congenital deformities of the craniofacial skeleton and soft tissues such as pediatric fractures, craniosynostosis, and cleft lip & palate. On the other hand, adult craniofacial surgery focuses on fractures and secondary surgeries like orbital reconstruction along with orthognathic surgery.
  • Hand Surgery
    Hand surgery focuses primarily on acute injuries and chronic diseases of the hand and wrist. It involves the correction of congenital malformations of the upper extremities and peripheral nerve problems like carpal tunnel syndrome and brachial plexus injury.
  • Microsurgery
    Microsurgery focuses on the reconstruction of missing tissues performed by transferring a piece of tissue to the reconstruction site and reconnecting blood vessels.
  • Pediatric Plastic Surgery
    Pediatric plastic surgery focuses on treating congenital defects or syndromes present at birth like craniofacial anomalies, webbing of the fingers and toes, excess fingers and toes at birth, cleft lip and palate, and congenital hand deformities.

Role of a Plastic Surgeon

Plastic surgeons perform surgical procedures that change the shape and appearance of a patient’s body. They not only perform cosmetic surgeries like hair transplant surgeries, nose jobs or facelifts, but they also perform reconstructive surgeries to correct facial and body abnormalities caused by birth defects, injuries, burns, diseases, or aging. The goal of reconstructive plastic surgery is to improve body function, create a more normal appearance, and improve self-esteem. 

Plastic surgeons are also responsible to provide follow up care for the patient after surgery to ensure that infections are avoided or treated if necessary. In some cases, surgeons refer patients to physical therapists or other specialists to help their recovery process.

When to Visit a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon?

Visit or consult a plastic and reconstructive surgeon if:-

  • You had an accident that can leave a scar or some kind of deformity caused by a burn, vehicle crash, or sports injury.
  • You are suffering from a congenital defect that can be improved by plastic surgery when you grow up.
  • You are suffering from baldness and need a hair transplant.
  • You need to improve your facial or body appearance.

What are the Common Diseases Treated by Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon?

  • Keloids
  • Mandibular Fractures
  • Nasal Fracture
  • Pan facial Fractures
  • Penile Epispadias
  • Thermal Burns
  • Upper Lid Ptosis
  • Chemical Burns
  • Chronic Wounds
  • Cleft Palate
  • Electrical Burn Injuries
  • Facial Burns
  • Diabetic Foot Infections
  • Diabetic Ulcers
  • Gynecomastia

What are the Common Procedures Performed by Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon?

  • Abdominoplasty
  • Augmentation Mammoplasty
  • Cheek Augmentation
  • Chin Augmentation
  • Liposuction
  • Rhinoplasty
  • Surgery for Gynaecomastia
  • Vaginoplasty
  • Dimple Creation
  • Hair Transplant
  • Fat Grafting
  • Tongue Tie excision

Journey to Become a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

The journey to becoming a trained and certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon begins when aspirants have to spend five & a half years in graduation as M.B.B.S. from a medical college, followed by three years in post-graduation in general surgery. Their journey doesn’t end here, it is followed by another three years of super specialization in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery to complete their training and certification.

Dr. Rishab Sharma

Dr. Rishab Sharma MBBS, MD (Internal Medicine) He is associated with Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur. Dr. Rishab has wide experience in managing a variety of diseases, as well as managing critical care units in large government and corporate hospitals.

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