Everything You Need to Know About Reconstructive Plastic Surgeries

Everything You Need to Know About Reconstructive Plastic Surgeries

If you suffer from a medical condition that affects the function or appearance of a body part and warrants attention, consulting a plastic surgeon might help. Plastic surgery has two subtypes; reconstructive plastic surgery and cosmetic plastic surgery. Typically ”plastic surgery” is used interchangeably with ”cosmetic plastic surgery”, but it’s essential to know the distinction between its two subtypes. In this article, we will discuss reconstructive plastic surgery and how it differs from cosmetic surgery, and the conditions that might warrant intervention by reconstructive plastic surgery.

What Is Reconstructive Plastic Surgery?

Reconstructive plastic surgery is a subspecialty that aims to restore the functionality and appearance of body parts adversely affected by various medical conditions. The significant difference between reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery is that where the former is done due to medical concerns or to fix disfigurement, the latter is done solely to modify the appearance of an individual.

Two major types of people are good candidates for reconstructive plastic surgeries: people born with congenital anomalies of various body parts or people with deformities due to injury, infection, or disease.

Some examples of congenital deformities include a cleft lip/palate, skull abnormalities, absence of nose or ears, etc. Examples of acquired deformities include loss of breast tissue after mastectomy, loss of tissue following burns or trauma, or abnormalities in external genitalia following vaginal childbirth that professionals can correct with labiaplasty surgery.

Examples of Reconstructive Surgery Procedures

Here we will discuss some examples of reconstructive plastic surgery in depth:

1.   Hand Surgery

These surgeries aim to correct conditions that impair the function, flexibility, and strength of the hands or fingers and cause pain. Examples include injuries like deep cuts, fractures with bones protruding through the skin, diseases like carpal tunnel syndrome or rheumatoid arthritis, or congenital anomalies like webbed fingers.

The methods used in this reconstructive surgery vary according to the situation. They often include tendon, artery, or nerve reconstruction. They might also involve a system of wires, screws, and metal plates in the case of fractures. In the case of amputated fingers, they are reattached by transferring tissues from other parts of the body and reconnecting blood vessels.

2.   Surgery for Burns

There are two types of reconstructive surgeries for burns. The first type is acute burn surgery, in which surgeons immediately repair damaged tissue after it has suffered damage from burns. The second type aims to correct scarring of tissue long after a burn has healed by making it less noticeable and improving the functionality of the affected area. Treatments for burns include skin rearrangement, grafts, and donor flaps.

3.   Craniofacial Surgeries

Craniofacial reconstructive procedures can correct deformities of the skull, head, neck, and face by reconstructing damaged bones and tissue and improving the appearance of these disfigured areas. For children born with congenital craniofacial defects, early intervention by surgery can minimize the impact of these conditions on their growth and development. Examples of conditions requiring craniofacial reconstructive procedures include cleft lip and palate, jaw and facial tumors, craniosynostosis, and more.

4.   Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy

A mastectomy is an operation where doctors remove breast tissue to treat breast cancer in both men and women. Following the procedure, they can choose to have the area reconstructed. Surgeons use tissue removed from another body area, prosthetic implants, or a combination of both.


If you have a condition that has disfigured a part of your body, you should consider reconstructive plastic surgery procedures. Before doing so, you must consult a certified and experienced plastic surgeon. They will analyze your condition in detail and provide information about the recommended approach, expenses, recovery time, and complications. A doctor’s advice will help you make an informed decision before opting for corrective procedures.

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