Plastic surgery is a procedure done on patients who are in need of tissue or skin restoration or reconstruction due to accidents, birth defects or burns. Plastic surgeons undergo a special kind training to specialize in this area. Technically, this is different from cosmetic surgery when it comes to purpose. Cosmetic surgery is usually done for aesthetic purposes with the patient’s desire to alter his or her looks. Nowadays, however, most people are using it interchangeably. Other plastic surgeons who are also practicing cosmetic surgery also refer to these two as one and the same.
The Job of a Plastic Surgeon
There are many ways plastic surgeons use surgery to reconstruct areas of the body. These include skin grafting, where skin is taken from a part of the body and transferred or grafted to the area where replacement is needed. Another is skin flap surgery, wherein a tissue, along with its blood vessels is transferred to another part of the body. Tissue expansion, on the other hand, is a procedure where tissue surrounding the damaged area is made to grow extra skin to be used as replacement for the area the needs it. Other methods include creation of devices such as prosthetic limbs, vacuum closure and fat transfer, say, removing fat from the thigh and transferring it on the buttocks.
Conditions present at birth that can be corrected with plastic surgery include patients with lip or cleft palate, hypospadias, birth marks, abnormally shaped heads, small ears and webbed fingers, to name a few. With regard to cases where plastic surgeries are called for later in life, these include patients who have suffered from extensive burns, cancers, Bell’s palsy, trauma from accidents and animal bites, osteoarthiritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Despite the need and importance of plastic surgeries, there are also setbacks attributed to undergoing reconstruction. It is also a person’s own discretion if he or she wants to undergo plastic surgery, so long as it is not a matter of life and death. Before going under the knife for fat grafting or breast reconstruction, careful consideration should be made.
Here is a look at the opposing views to plastic surgery as broken down by its pros and cons.
List of Pros of Plastic Surgery
1. It helps in gaining back one’s self-esteem.
People born with birth defects like cleft palate have difficulty in speech. For this reason, they might find it hard to express what they want to say and at the same time be teased by other children growing up. This can affect them emotionally and can drive them to think less of themselves and have low self-esteem. On the other hand, burn victims and women who have undergone mastectomy can also get affected with their conditions and might not be able to feel comfortable facing other people. With plastic surgery, these problems can be addressed and eventually, patients will be able to regain their self-esteem.
2. It is needed for people with physical impairments to use their bodily functions.
Children born with cleft palate, webbed fingers and those without limbs can take advantage of reconstructive surgery so they can perform activities of daily living. Once cleft palate is corrected, a child can undergo speech therapy. In time, he or she will be able to talk clearly which is important if he or she plans a career in broadcasting. Same with kids born with webbed fingers and who are lacking limbs. By operating on the hands and making use of prosthetic devices, these children can act like normal children do. Plastic surgery is a necessity in most cases.
3. It is needed for appearance.
People want to feel good about themselves and how they look is a big factor on this matter. Although some who were born with congenital defects are fine with the situation, there are those who are psychologically affected by what they see in front of the mirror. With plastic surgery, a person’s self-image can change for the better.
4. Plastic surgery can ease pain patients with birth defects suffer.
There are children born with deviated septum, small eyes and imperforate anus. These conditions, if not treated can cause pain and discomfort on patients. By undergoing reconstructive surgery, these children can be spared from further pain and suffering. Breathing will be normal as well as their vision and bowel movement.
List of Cons of Plastic Surgery
1. It entails risks and complications.
Just like any other procedure, plastic surgery, whether minor or major, has the possibility of going wrong. Preparations should be made as well as considerations. A patient should be ready physically and mentally before undergoing any type of surgery. In some cases, major damages are incurred. Patients should be careful in choosing the plastic surgeon that will be performing the procedure since a simple mistake can have lead to serious complications.
2. This can be expensive.
Another setback of a plastic surgery is the amount of money needed to have it done. Depending on the type of procedure, this can cause thousands of dollars. This can be a problem for people who do not have enough money to spend for the surgery. Some are not even covered by health insurance. There are even conditions where several procedures are needed to get the desired results. Cases like extensive burns and imperforate anus need a series of surgeries on top of other treatments in between treatments.
3. It can be painful and in some instances, may lead to drug abuse.
Another concern about plastic surgeries is that it can be painful for patients like skin grafting. There are times recovery takes time and pain and discomfort are part of the healing process and patients are given drugs to lessen the pain. However, there are those who are intolerable to pain that they get used to taking pain relievers and drugs to the point of being dependent on them. If this will not be controlled, this can lead to drug problems.
Reconstructing and restoring parts of the body is important and mostly, a personal choice. Any person who thinks he or she needs plastic surgery has the right to undergo one. However, it is always best to take the time to research, contemplate and prepare for any type of surgery. By knowing the pros and cons a plastic surgery entails, it will be easier for an individual to make the right decision.
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.