Overview of Plastic Surgery

Overview of Plastic Surgery

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If you are considering surgery to change your appearance, you should know about plastic surgery from both a historical and current point of view.

Overview of Plastic Surgery

As an elective surgery, plastic surgery often doesn’t get the objective coverage it should. Proponents crow about the positive effects while critics argue the opposite. Rarely does either group actually quote any undisputables about plastic surgery. Well, we do in this article.

Plastic surgery has a long history. Susrutha, an Indian surgeon, is the first known plastic surgeon, providing nose reconstruction services in the 8th century BC. The Romans were known to perform plastic surgery procedures to alter the appearance of ears. John P. Mettauer is generally agreed to be the first plastic surgeon in the United States, practicing in the 1820s. Plastikos is the base word for plastic surgery, meaning to mold something in Greek.

In more modern times, plastic surgery has come on strong as a method for changing appearances. The most common procedures with most popular first are liposuction, breast surgery, nose reshaping, eyelid lifts, tummy tucks and facelifts. In the last ten years, the number of plastic surgery procedures has quadrupled as the specialty has gained greater acceptance and publicity on television shows.

When one thinks about plastic surgery, most assume it is women having their appearances modified. In general, this is true. Roughly 80 percent of all plastic surgery patients are women, but the demographic is starting to change. While 20 percent of patients are now men, the figure is growing. Like women, men seek liposuction, nose reshaping, tummy tucks, and lifts. No, they don’t go in for breast enlargements, although breast reductions are growing in popularity.

Somewhat controversial, teenagers are getting plastic surgery in growing numbers. Individuals under 18 most often focus on procedures related to the skin, with skin peels and microdermabrasion procedures accounting for more than half of all procedures.

Historically, plastic surgery was a relatively uncommon procedure. As this overview reveals, media exposure and lower prices mean that is simply no longer the case.

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Plastic Surgery vs. Reconstructive Surgery

Plastic Surgery vs. Reconstructive Surgery

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Plastic surgery and reconstructive surgery are bandied about so much people often confuse them. While both involve the improvement of your appearance, there are distinct differences.

Plastic Surgery vs. Reconstructive Surgery

Both plastic surgery and reconstructive surgery are designed to improve the appearance of a person. This can be done through lifts, tucks, reshaping and so on. The correct usage of the terms, however, is dependent upon the underlying reason for the surgical procedure.

Plastic surgery is an elective surgery. In its most basic form, plastic surgery takes a normal part of the body and improves it in a manner desired by the patient. Common plastic surgery procedures include liposuction, breast enhancement or reduction, nose reshaping, reshaping of the abdomen and the well-known facelift. All of these surgeries are based purely on a voluntary desire to improve one’s appearance.

Reconstructive surgery is often elective, but can also be medically necessary. Reconstructive surgery differs from plastic surgery in one significant way. It is focused on making improvements to a damaged or abnormal part of the body. For example, a person may suffer damage from trauma or disease that leaves a part of the body looking abnormal and functionally deficient, such as breaking facial bones in an automobile accident. Reconstructive surgery will be undertaken to repair the facial structure so that it both performs and appears normally. While appearance is important, most reconstructive surgery focuses on functionality first.

The differences between plastic and reconstructive surgery often blur. Breast enhancement or reduction surgery is a form of plastic surgery. Repairing breasts after the all too common complications of breast cancer is considered reconstructive surgery. Repairing the septum of the nose is considered reconstructive surgery, but simply reshaping the nose is considered plastic surgery. This blurred line is repeated in other areas as well.

Ultimately, the dividing line between reconstructive surgery and plastic surgery is mostly an academic debate or vary obvious given specific circumstances. Regardless, it is important to understand that there is a distinction.

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