The word plastic is derived from the Greek word – plastikos, which actually means to give a different form, mold or reshape. Plastic surgery is a specialty in medical science which involves reconstruction and restoration of facial and body tissue defects caused by long-term illness, accidents or birth disorders. The doctors who specialize in plastic surgery and are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery are called Plastic surgeons.
Plastic surgery helps to restore appearance as well as improve functioning. The plastic surgeon performs surgery on any part of the body except the central nervous system. This includes;
· Skin: This is very common and is performed in cases of skin cancer, burns, birthmarks, scars, tattoo removal etc.
· The facial skeleton – Maxillofacial
· Musculoskeletal system
· External genitalia
· Congenital deformities like deformed ears, cleft lip, palate, etc.
Plastic surgery includes both kinds of procedures – reconstructive and cosmetic.
Reconstructive plastic surgery is performed on abnormal parts of the body that may have been caused due to trauma, infection, disease, accidents, tumors, development or birth anomalies, etc. This kind of surgery helps to improve and restore normal functioning. In certain instances, it is performed to enhance normal appearance.
In cosmetic or aesthetic surgery, the plastic surgeon applies cosmetic surgical principles to repair or reshape normal structures in order to improve overall appearance. Specialized knowledge and skill is required in this field. The surgeon must be competent enough to manage complex wounds and have skills of implanting materials, grafting, be flapping, free tissue transferring etc. Plastic surgery is known for developing innovative techniques like liposuction, craniomaxillofacial surgery, tissue transfer, microvascular, etc.
In a nutshell, competency in plastic surgery involves the amalgamation of fundamental knowledge of medical and surgery along with technical expertise, operational techniques, ethical behavior and interpersonal skill to get the best outcome and resolution that will satisfy the patient.