What is plastic surgery?
Plastic surgery is used to restore and improve the function of any missing or damaged tissue and skin. Its primary goal is to make the affected body part look as close to normal as possible.
Excluding the central nervous system, plastic surgery can involve any part of the body. This includes:
What are the types of plastic surgery?
Plastic surgery is divided into two fields. While many are more familiar with plastic surgery being a cosmetic procedure, it is also used for reconstructive surgery.
The main goal of reconstructive surgery is to repair facial and body anomalies caused by birth, trauma, disease or ageing.
Among the different types of reconstructive surgeries are:
Breast reconstruction after a full or partial mastectomy/breast reduction
Facial reconstruction after face injury or removal of a tumour.
Hand procedure to help improve strength and flexibility, carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis, and fix webbed fingers.
Limb restoration for those who underwent amputation. Surgery would help in filling the space using tissue.
Cleft lip and palate repair
Rhinoplasty (nose surgery) to improve breathing due to an abnormal nose shape or a broken nose.
The main aim of cosmetic surgery is to enhance existing appearance and help people feel more confident with their skin.
Cosmetic surgery can be done through:
Body augmentation such as body contouring, arm lift, laser hair removal and breast lift.
Face enhancement such as wrinkle treatment, neck lift, facial fillers and dermabrasion.
What are the techniques of plastic surgery?
There are a variety of techniques used to move and manipulate body tissue.
It is always best to consult your plastic surgeon before undergoing any procedure. Your doctors will explain what to expect and what to do before and after the procedure.
A skin graft is the most common technique in plastic surgery. However, new techniques such as tissue expansion and flap surgery are being utilised in the field.
A skin graft is when healthy skin is taken from another body part to replace missing or damaged skin.
The retrieved skin can be utilised to cover open fractures of the bone, big wounds or situations where the original portion of the skin was surgically removed due to a burn or cancer diagnosis.
There are 2 main types of skin grafts.
Partial or split-thickness skin graft
This procedure involves shaving off a thin layer of skin about the thickness of tissue paper from an area of the body that typically heals well. These include places like the calf, buttocks, or thigh.
Depending on your skin tone, the donor area may appear pink or lighter than your surrounding skin for a few months before leaving a barely noticeable scar.
Full-thickness skin graft
The entire thickness of the skin, which includes the top layer and the layers below it is removed and the area is stitched shut.
Common locations in which this procedure is performed include the neck, behind the ear, upper arm, and groin.
Since this kind of skin graft is thicker, getting a new blood supply can be more difficult, so any dressing will be left in place for 5 to 7 days before being removed by a surgical team.
By stretching the surrounding tissue, tissue expansion encourages the body to "grow" more skin. After that, extra skin helps to rebuild nearby areas.
Reconstruction of the breast and the repair of large wounds are two instances in which tissue expansion may be utilised.
Flap surgery includes the transfer of a living piece of tissue from one section of the body to another with the blood vessels that keep it alive.
It can be used for breast reconstruction, large wounds, open fractures, and in some instances, improving a cleft lip and palate.
Generally, a "flap" is formed when the skin remains partially attached to the body. After that, the flap is moved and stitched over the damaged area.
A free flap technique is used for more complicated reconstructions. This is when a piece of skin and the blood vessels that supply it are completely cut off from the original blood supply and connected to a new area.
The tiny blood vessels at the new location are then connected using microsurgery, (surgery using a microscope).
When large portions of certain tissue types are required for reconstruction, a free flap technique is frequently used.
With years of handling intricate procedures such as these, our plastic surgeons at SKINCENTRIC Bukit Tinggi Medical Centre (BTMC) are able to address all your questions and concerns regarding plastic surgery with patience and understanding. You can be rest assured knowing that you are in good hands.