Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Overview

Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Overview

What is reconstructive plastic surgery?

Reconstructive plastic surgery is
done to correct facial and body abnormalities caused by birth defects, injury, disease,
or aging. Usually, the goal of reconstructive plastic surgery is to improve body
function. But reconstructive plastic surgery may also be done to create a more normal
appearance and improve self-esteem (this may also be called cosmetic surgery). Some
types of plastic surgery may be reconstructive, cosmetic, or both. For example, eyelid
surgery (blepharoplasty) may be done to improve how your eyes look, but it can also
be
done to fix eyelids that are drooping severely and blocking vision. Abnormal structures
of the body may result from:

  • Injury

  • Infection

  • Developmental abnormalities

  • Birth defects

  • Disease

  • Tumors

Who are candidates for reconstructive plastic surgery?

Generally, two types of people have
reconstructive plastic surgery:

  • People with birth defects,
    including cleft lip, head and facial problems, or hand deformities

  • People with deformities such
    as from an accident, infection, disease, or aging

Possible complications linked to
reconstructive plastic surgery

Any type of surgery carries some
risk. People differ in their anatomy and how well they heal. Depending on the type
of
surgery you have and your overall health, some complications and risks linked to
reconstructive plastic surgery may include:

  • Infection

  • Excessive bleeding

  • Bruising

  • Difficulty in wound healing

  • Anesthesia problems

  • Surgery problems

Risk of complications may increase if you:

  • Smoke

  • Have connective-tissue damage

  • Have skin damage from radiation therapy

  • Have decreased circulation at the surgery site

  • Have HIV

  • Have a weakened immune
    system

  • Have a poor diet

There may be other risks depending
on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your healthcare
provider before the procedure. You may need to have several surgeries done in several
stages.

How to get ready for reconstructive
plastic surgery

Discuss with your surgeon what you
can expect on the day of the procedure or surgery. If you smoke, you may be asked
to
quit before surgery. Smoking can delay healing. Other things to consider are:

  • Can you drive yourself to and from surgery?
  • Will you need certain medical equipment at home after your
    surgery?
  • Will you need someone to help care for you at home?
  • Will you need someone to care for children or pets?
  • Will you need to be on a special diet before or after
    surgery?
  • How long until you can return to your full function?