Summary:While we’re used to thinking of plastic surgery for its more glamorous procedures, such as tummy tuck and breast augmentation, it’s important not to forget about the aspect of plastic surgery that focuses on reconstruction. In fact, reconstructive plastic surgery is kind of what started it all.
The Benefits of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery
We talk a lot about plastic surgery at this site—it’s basically in our name, so we have to—but it’s important to remember that there are various kinds of plastic surgery. For example, we will often talk about celebrities and the various cosmetic procedures they’re undergoing. That makes sense—there’s glamor and hope and beauty and all kinds of positive things going on in those conversations.
But it’s important not to forget about, say, reconstructive plastic surgery. These are the procedures that are not necessarily designed to enhance or beautify. They’re designed to put things back the way they were before some kind of trauma or accident or malformation. They’re designed to put things right and improve quality of life.
These reconstructive procedures can be performed in many different areas for many different reasons, but there are a few common applications. These more common procedures are not the be-all end-all of reconstructive plastic surgery, but they do illustrate the power of these procedures to change and improve lives. Sometimes these procedures are all about resuming a normal life, feeling normal again—putting things back the way they were. That’s a powerful thing, and it’s a heavy responsibility.
In most cases, the results are totally worth it.
Types of Reconstructive Procedures
Just as cosmetic procedures are widely varied, so too are reconstructive procedures. A breast reconstruction, for example, is quite different from a reconstruction due to a breast augmentation. The first is an example of rebuilding the breast after a trauma, such as mastectomy. The second is an example of correcting a problem with a cosmetic procedures.
So, it’s possible to put reconstructive plastic surgery into two very broad and generalized categories: correcting a trauma and correcting an aesthetic. To be sure, these are not official categories, and there is much overlap and procedures that straddle the two. This is simply a way to think about two different forms of reconstruction—because they are pretty different. In other words, there are revision procedures, and reconstructive procedures.
Let’s take a look at some of the more common reconstruction procedures and what they aim to accomplish.
Known colloquially as the “nose job,” rhinoplasty is one of the most popular and common plastic surgery procedures on the planet. And while patients are almost always happy with the results, not every procedure is 100% successful. This sometimes requires that surgeons perform a rhinoplasty revision procedure.
During a rhinoplasty reconstruction procedure, surgeons will go in to correct any issues that may have arisen. However, some patients opt for a non surgical rhinoplasty revision option because the results are immediate and a long, painful recovery process is avoided.
Breast Augmentation Revision
The best way to ensure that you get the results you want from a breast augmentation procedure is to find a surgeon who has a wide range and incredible depth of experience. Even still, sometimes the healing process can be complicated. Other times, patients may choose to change the size of the implant. In either case, a breast augmentation revision procedure is then performed in order to ensure the final results are closer to what the patient desires.
For many patients of breast cancer, reconstruction is a vital part of recovery and can be essential to reclaiming a normal life. Breast reconstruction comes in many forms, each depending on the woman who is being treated. Generally, however, the procedure is designed to replace breast tissue removed during a mastectomy with autologous tissue from the patient.
In other words, they take donor material (often from the abdomen) and graft it onto the chest to form the reconstructed breasts. Surgeons use microsurgical techniques to make sure the blood vessels all operate properly, ensuring that the tissue is both viable and functional.
Reconstructing to Get Your Life Back
Mastectomy isn’t the only form of trauma to visit the human body. Indeed, there are many ways in which the human body can become injured or mangled. Reconstructive plastic surgery is used to help those who have suffered a trauma or a deformation reclaim a kind of normal life. In fact, if you think about it, this is actually the beginning of plastic surgery, which was developed after World War I to help injured and scarred veterans reclaim their normal lives.
With its roots in reconstruction, it’s important that we don’t forget this facet of plastic surgery. Whether it’s revising a nose job or reconstructing breast tissue after a mastectomy, this is an important aspect of plastic surgery—especially for the patients.