What Is Plastic Surgery?
Plastic surgery is a type of surgical process performed with the aim of reconstructing or changing a part of an individual’s body. The scope of this surgery covers the following:
- Aesthetic surgery
- Craniofacial surgery
- Treating of burns
- Reconstructive surgery
- Microsurgery, etc.
A specialist who performs plastic surgery is known as a plastic surgeon. There are various types of plastic surgeons categorized based on what they have specialized in. Aside from the cosmetic surgery, these people also help to correct deformities that have developed in people when they were born or due to accidents such as getting burnt.
Plastic surgeons also specialize in their areas of expertise. For example, burn surgeons have specialized in dealing with cases of burnt victims. They remove the scarred tissues and work to replace them in order to minimize the effects of the burn.
What are Some of the Job Duties of a Plastic Surgeon?
The duties of a plastic surgeon depend on his/her area of expertise. Some of them engage in surgical procedures and others in non-surgical procedures. Surgical procedures are performed mostly by plastic surgeons who have specialized in reconstructive surgery.
They deal with victims of accidents or people who have been injured and have damages in their skin, muscles, etc. These surgeons aim to reconstruct the damaged bones or parts and try as much as possible to bring back the patient’s previous looks before the accident.
Cosmetic surgeons on the other hand are plastic surgeons who work mostly to improve a person’s beauty and outward physical appearance. They mainly engage in non-surgical procedures. They offer services such as:
Some of the procedures done by plastic surgeons that do not involve surgery are Botox injections and the use of lasers to remove flaws on patients. Most of these procedures are done on a patient’s face to remove age spots, birthmarks and other flaws related to the skin.
Type of Plastic Surgeries Performed By Plastic Surgeons
Plastic surgeries are different. They are usually carried out for various reasons. Plastic surgeons do not carry out surgical procedures on a patient unless they really need it due to complications such as deformities or accidents,
First of all, they have to ensure that the patient understands what they are about to undergo as the changes to their bodies could be permanent. Some plastic surgeons even recommend counseling for their patients before the procedure so that they could rethink their decision on whether to continue or not. Some of the plastic surgeries are as follows:
1. Burn Surgery
Plastic surgeons who have specialized in this field work to help victims of fire accidents recover from their wounds and scars. This procedure is carried out in two parts. A surgery is done immediately after the burn in phase one. Phase two is carried out after the wounds have healed.
2. Hand Surgery
This is a reconstructive surgery done to repair damaged tissues of the hands and return them to their previous functioning state. This surgical procedure can also be done to correct nerve complications. It is one of the most fundamental aspects in training plastic surgeons.
3. Pediatric Plastic Surgery
This is done by plastic surgeons who have specialized in handling plastic surgeries on children. They mainly attempt to correct birth defects while the child is still young as it is easier then.
4. Craniofacial Surgery
This is another field where the plastic surgeons specialize in dealing with complications of the craniofacial skeleton. It is also an important aspect that every qualified plastic surgeon must be trained in.
What are the Requirements to be Certified as a Plastic Surgeon?
There are different organizations and bodies around the world which are involved in certifying one as a plastic surgeon. An example of such a body is the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Each organization may have its own qualifications that are required for a person to fulfill in order to be certified as a plastic surgeon. This may include:
- The years of education on plastic surgery.
- The experience in the practice i.e the number of years served as plastic surgeons.
How is a Plastic Surgery Performed by a Plastic Surgeon?
Although the plastic surgeons are well knowledgeable in their specialty, they must consult their patients before starting a surgical procedure. This provides them with an opportunity to explain the risks of the procedure, side effects that may emerge and also any alternatives for the patient to pick the best choice.
If the doctors cannot consult the patients directly due to hindrances such as the patient being unconscious, then they will talk with his/her family members to determine the best course of action.
The plastic surgeon must also establish the health condition of the patient to see if it is good enough for a surgery to be done. This will also involve the learning of any other medical condition the patient may have.
Preparations must be done before a surgical procedure is begun. This may include carrying out tests on the patient. For example, taking x-rays in case the patient was involved in an accident or drawing incision lines on the patient.
After a surgery, the plastic surgeons must also keep track of their patients’ progression. This may involve after-surgery care to ensure that the wounds do not get infected or referring them to other specialists who will help them in their recovery.
How do I Distinguish a Good Plastic Surgeon from an Unqualified One?
Nowadays there are many people who term themselves as plastic surgeons or cosmetic surgeons without specializing in that field of work. You should always be careful to avoid getting yourself involved in the hands of an uncertified person.
Always seek out specialists who are approved by the plastic surgeon approving boards in your country. This is because these surgeons are the most qualified as they have undergone extensive training and have the best experience in the practice.
Approval boards always publish a list of plastic surgeons that they have certified and these are the ones you should seek out.
The Bottom Line
Plastic surgery is a complicated process that requires expertise. Therefore you should seek out the best medical care and this can only be achieved by getting it done through qualified plastic surgeons.
Before deciding on the treatment it is important that you carry out some research to find out who offers the best plastic surgery in the market. You can also consult your trusted doctors to help you get the best plastic surgeon in the area.
Ensure that you keep in touch with your plastic surgeon to learn about any new developments in the sector. This will help you receive the best medical care in the market and provide you with the best results from the surgery.
Sometimes you may also have a team of plastic surgeons handling your case. This mostly happens when the patient has extensive damage that requires a number of experts to help fix it. If you have any doubts or questions about the procedures, clarify them from your doctors.
- Medical surgeons who perform plastic surgery are known as plastic surgeons.
- Plastic surgeons are trained after graduating with a medicine degree.
- Training for plastic surgeons may take 3-4 years depending on the country.