Treatments and Therapy
Plastic surgery is a medical specialty, concerned with the correction or restoration of body form and function. It includes a wide range of aesthetic and reconstructive procedures. Although reconstructive surgery techniques were used since the antiquity, the field of plastic surgery mainly developed during the 20th century. Plastic surgery is a rapidly growing business as in 2007 only in the U.S. there were almost 10 million procedures performed, the most popular ones being: breast augmentation, liposuction, nasal surgery, eyelid surgery and abdominoplasty.
Today plastic surgery serves two main purposes: to restore normal body function and appearance through reconstructive surgery and to offer patients a more attractive look through cosmetic surgery.
Reconstructive surgery procedures
Reconstructive surgery is performed to correct functional impairments due to a series of causes. The most common situations when reconstructive surgery is needed are the following:
- burn injuries
- traumatic injuries like bone fractures
- congenital abnormalities
- developmental abnormalities
- infection and diseases
- cancer or tumors
No matter what the cause of the abnormality is, reconstructive plastic surgery always tries to restore both normal function and appearance. To achieve such goals plastic surgeons use a great variety of surgical techniques, including:
- skin grafting
- fat, muscle or bone transplant
- various implants
One of the most common types of procedure performed for reconstructive purposes is breast reconstruction after cancer removal, cleft lip and palate repair and hand surgery. Reconstructive surgery is often performed on children, to correct congenital abnormalities and to allow them a normal development. As these procedures are required by patients in order to live a normal life, they are regularly covered by insurance.
Cosmetic surgery procedures
Cosmetic surgery procedures are designed for the "enhancement" of appearance by maintaining normal appearance, restoring it, or enhancing it towards some aesthetic ideal. To achieve such results a great variety of treatments and procedures are used both surgical and non-surgical ones. They target different areas of the body, like face, neck, breast, belly, buttock, thigh or simply the skin.
Some of these procedures are non-invasive treatments which can be done in outpatient facilities, without anesthesia. Other procedures are complex surgical ones, requiring both anesthesia and a long recovery period but also involving a number of risks. Some of the most common cosmetic procedures include:
- surgical facial procedures: facelift, eye lid surgery, rhinoplasty, ear pinning, chin implant, cheek implant, brow lift, neck lift
- non-invasive facial procedures: dermal fillers, chemical peels
- skin treatments: laser hair removal, skin resurfacing treatment, spider vein reduction
- breast procedures: breast augmentation, breast reduction, breast lift
- body reshaping procedures: tummy tuck, liposuction, thigh and bottom lift, arm reduction and lift
- weight loss procedures: lap band surgery, gastric by-pass surgery
These procedures and treatments can be successfully performed on both men and women, however as they are elective procedures insurance will usually not cover them.