A surgeon, who can correct deformity, scars and disfigurement caused by accidents, birth defects and treat diseases like skin cancer (melanoma), is called a plastic surgeon. A plastic surgeon also performs surgeries purely based on cosmetic purposes, e.g. rhinoplasty. The first plastic surgeon of the U.S. was Dr. John Peter Mettauer who performed his first surgery of cleft palate in the year 1827. Plastic surgeons perform various levels of surgeries on human body to beautify and restructure it. The main surgeries performed by plastic surgeons:
Reconstructive surgeries: The most common surgeries in the reconstructive section are breast reconstruction, palate surgery, cleft lip, surgery for patients suffering from burns called contracture surgery. Another technique called microsurgery is performed where tissue is transferred from one place to another where tissue is damaged and needs replacement.
Cosmetic surgery: The most famous and common surgery in the area of plastic surgery is cosmetic surgery and is performed purely from beautification point of view. Cosmetic surgery also known as aesthetic surgery is done just to enhance the beauty of any part and may possibly be a reconstructive surgery. The surgery improves the beauty or looks of any part of the body and is usually referred with the name of that particular part of the body. For e.g. Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck - reconstruction of the abdomen), Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) - application of permanent eyeliner or reshaping the eyelids.
Cosmesis: Another common procedure called as cosmesis is a blend of reconstructive plastic surgery and cosmetic plastic surgery. In the process of reconstructive surgery, cosmetic surgery techniques are utilized thus improving cosmesis.
In addition to these branches of plastic surgery, there are also surgeries such as craniofacial surgery - mainly dealing with pediatric deformities, maxillofacial surgery - improvement of the jaw and the face.
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Rhytidectomy or Rhytidoplasty is commonly called a facelift. This is a cosmetic surgery procedure that involves removal of removal of excess facial skin so as to reduce loose skin folds and wrinkles. The facial skin is lifted and the tissues underneath are tightened so that the skin can be repositioned smoothly again. An incision is usually made from the hairline to the end of the ear. Deeper tissues can be slightly removed or tightened with sutures. The skin is then repositioned and some excess is cut if needed by the plastic surgeon.
Some patients might face complications after rhytidoplasty such as bleeding under the skin, infection, blood clots and tissue loss. There might be damage to the nerves of the face too. Persons suffering diabetes or hypertension are more likely to suffer medical risks when undergoing rhytidectomy. Post surgery a patient might experience numbness of the skin along with a rough and dry feeling.
Liposuction surgery uses high vacuum attached to special probes known as cannula into the fleshy parts of the body. The fat cells are then sucked out thereby creating a contour to the body part. Liposuction surgery is also referred to as lipoplasty or lip sculpture. This procedure is often resorted to by those suffering from morbid obesity. Some persons are at higher risk of complications due to liposuction surgery. Those with a history of lupus, clotting disorders, diabetes, heart or lung disease or hypertension or endocrine disorders must take suitable medical guidance before resorting to liposuction surgery.
Tumescent liposuction was a major advancement in the liposuction surgical process. This breakthrough process involves filling the fatty layer of skin with a diluted solution of local anesthesia (lidocaine) and other medication prior to the surgical process. The liquid causes the compartments of fat to become swollen or 'tumescent'. This process allows the plastic surgeon to safely and effectively remove the excess layers of fat with little discomfort. Large volumes of a local anesthetic along with epinephrine drug are used to shrink capillaries and thereby minimize blood loss. The skin is helped in the contraction and healing process by an elastic compression garment. Tumescent liposuction can be power-assisted by a mechanical cannula so that fatty tissues are removed with increased precision. This type of precision liposuction is generally used on the face, neck, arms and calves.
Benefits of tumescent liposuction are reduced bleeding, fewer skin irregularities and consequently faster recovery. This surgical liposuction procedure can be done sans costly hospital stays and therefore exorbitant charges can be avoided. Sometimes side effects such as lumpiness and dimpling of the skin are seen. Another rare complication is pulmonary edema, which results in fluid accumulation in the lungs.
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: February 3, 2023