Plastic Surgery: Going Beyond the Surface
What do you think of when you hear the question ‘What is plastic surgery?’
As a plastic surgeon, I have asked several people questions like this to gain a better perspective of what one might think we do. Their answers can include anything from repairing a torn earlobe, injecting a cosmetic solution such as Botox®, cosmetic facial surgery and liposuction; to a skin graft, burn care, treatment of upper extremity diagnoses (i.e. trigger finger, carpal tunnel syndrome), or a variety of other surgical procedures – elective or medically-necessary. The answer can also be the enhancement of one’s looks, a way to build self-esteem, to correct congenital defects to restore symmetry, or to correct a self-portrayed imperfection. For others, it can treat injuries related to auto accidents, a burn injury, or can be a way of appeasing disabilities from life experiences or birth defects.
In any event—plastic surgery is a positive change that can make a person feel attractive and youthful. Plastic surgery has developed into many areas and our goal as surgeons is to open one’s mind, or broaden the view of what we can offer.
Our services go well beyond the scope of cosmetic enhancements. There are several facets to this surgical sub-specialty, including (but not limited to) cosmetic, reconstructive, congenital, hand and microsurgery. Not every plastic surgeon offers all of these sub-specialties, and a patient should undergo a scheduled consultation to help make the best decision for his or her situation—even when it means surgery is not the best answer to a perceived problem. It’s most important for a patient to receive an educated, honest opinion with full disclosure of what options are available.
“What is the difference between reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery?”
Reconstructive surgery is treatment of a medical process or life-threatening diagnosis, restoring previous physical attributes or functions. For example, in the realm of breast cancer, a general surgeon may perform a surgery to remove the breast (mastectomy), and a plastic surgeon may then discuss treatment options to restore ones self to a pre-existing state; primarily to achieve symmetry, or several other surgical and non-surgical options that can make one feel ‘like me again.’
“What are the benefits or perceived benefits of plastic surgery?”
The benefits of plastic surgery remain in the nature with which plastic surgery differs from say, general surgery. Each has a very important role in the overall surgical condition or medical and physical functional outcome of the patient. Though plastic surgeons are typically sought after for cosmetic surgeries—their role is also very important to help regain a pre-operative, or pre-medical, physical outward appearance and/or functionality.
A plastic surgeon’s goal is to have a compliant patient who is a good candidate for the surgery or procedure best for his or her situation. This includes a consultation in which both the patient and surgeon have agreed upon the best plan for the most-positive outcome.
The point here is to open the mind of the reader, to understand what can be offered and how plastic surgery may be more than the general consensus. Please allow time to explore your interest in our ability to consult and treat you.
For more information call KMC Plastic Surgery at 785-271-2297 or visit KMCPlasticSurgery.com.