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Reconstructive Surgeries - Where All They Are Applicable?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Prashantha Kesari 90% (10 ratings)
MCh - Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, DNB, MS - General Surgery, MBBS
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Bangalore  •  20 years experience
Reconstructive Surgeries - Where All They Are Applicable?

Reconstructive surgeries are means to usually correct a deformity within the body, which is either congenital (since birth and formed in the womb) or acquired. Reconstructive surgeries done by a plastic surgeon are used to correct problems caused by accidents and injuries as well as correcting deformities. It is a large umbrella term and includes plastic surgery to correct certain defects. However, it may or may not include elements of cosmetic surgery. Reconstructive surgery primarily aims to restore utilitarian functions but doesn’t always necessarily have a cosmetic angle.

Where is reconstructive surgery applicable?

  1. Surgeries to correct the functionality as well the appearance of feet and hands: These may include webbed fingers and toes, removal of an extra finger or toe, or corrective surgeries on your hand from other disorder such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
  2. Correcting functionality and the look of an area after tumor removal: Cancerous tumors may require the removal of larger sections of tissue surrounding the tumor. This will result in an unsightly appearance or even balancing issues in the body. Reconstructive surgery aims to correct this and can be done on any part of the body.
  3. Breast reduction or reconstruction: Women who undergo mastectomy and have breasts removed, either partially or fully, undergo surgery to reconstruct breasts. Some women who tend to have large breasts and thus suffer from back and neck pain, undergo this surgery to reduce the breast size and thus, improve the quality of life.
  4. Burn victims: Burn victims often require the most amount of reconstructive surgery, which also becomes a necessity to avoid further infection from wound exposure. This is possibly one of the areas where reconstructive surgery is used most widely.
  5. Accident victims: Areas of the body severely affected by accidents can be corrected with reconstructive surgery. Grafting and replacement are also used in such cases to reconstruct damaged areas.
  6. Correcting congenital defects: Some congenital defects, such as a child born with a cleft lip, are prime candidates for reconstructive surgery. These have functionality issues as well as cosmetic reasons entwined together. Examples of other disorders corrected by reconstructive surgeries are cleft palette and a deviation in the nasal septum which may cause breathing problems.

Who performs reconstructive surgery?
Plastic as well as cosmetic surgeons may be required to perform reconstructive surgery, depending on the requirement. However, in most cases, it is the plastic surgeon who performs the corrective surgery to return function and utility to the affected area of the body.

Evaluation
Unlike cosmetic procedures, it is your doctor who determines what is viable and possible and what would be the proper requirement in case you require reconstructive surgery. Unlike cosmetic surgery wherein you get to chose how you look in order to get the right aesthetic, reconstructive surgery deals with a more utilitarian and corrective approach.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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