When we talk about reconstructive surgery, these are procedures that restore certain body parts after experiencing injuries, after having fractures, or correcting deformities innate to you. By doing so, not only fixes your body but your confidence and self-esteem as well. Although technically physical, the effects of reconstructive surgery can also go skin deep and become psychological and emotional too.
Popularly, reconstructive surgery involves restoring facial appearance and function, but it can also help alleviate breathing problems. There are numerous procedures that you can choose from to ‘reconstruct’ the body part you want. Let’s talk about the most common fractures, injuries, and deformities that people need help with reconstructive surgery.
- Breast Reduction and Reconstruction
Medically termed as reduction mammaplasty, breast reduction removes excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breasts to attain a size proportionate enough to go with your body. This reconstructive surgery also provides comfort to those burdened with large, excessive breasts, or called ‘macromastia.’
On the other hand, breast reconstruction is a bit different compared to breast reduction. Its main goal is to restore the breasts to their original shape, size, symmetry, and appearance. This reconstructive surgery involves numerous stages of procedures and falls into two general categories:
- Implant-based – depends on breast implants in forming a new breast mound.
- Flap or autologous – a reconstruction that uses tissues from the patient’s other body parts to create the new breasts.
- Hand and Feet Surgeries
Reconstructive hand surgery is done to restore the hand’s balance to its practical function. It can also improve the hand’s appearance cosmetically, hence, affecting the patient’s self-image positively. This reconstructive surgery is done when a patient has experienced any of these:
- Fingers or entire hand detachment
- Inborn abnormalities
- Injury from accidents and falls
Meanwhile, foot reconstruction surgeries are performed to correct anatomy or restore the function of the foot lost because of trauma, congenital deformities, infection, and other diseases. This reconstructive surgery usually considers the following:
- Tissue reconstruction
- Function restoration
- Cosmetic rehabilitation
- If the foot can or should be saved through reconstruction
Reconstruction of foot conditions usually takes more extended periods and requires more care and rehabilitation, affecting the patient’s mental health and personal and social life.
- Wound Care
For those severely burned or cut, reconstructive surgery becomes an option to alleviate and eventually remove the pain they are continuously experiencing. Before reconstructive surgery, patients may need to undergo debriding or the procedure of dead tissue removal. After doing so, these are some reconstructive surgery options provided to them:
- Skin Grafts
Skin grafts are often done for patients who have experienced severe burning. Skin is removed from an unaffected area of the patient’s body and is transplanted to the affected part or region. Skin grafts have two types:
- Split-thickness – transplants just a few layers of the patient’s outer skin
- Full-thickness – involves all of the patient’s dermis and usually produces noticeable, permanent scarring later on
- Tissue Expansion
Tissue expansion enables the body to “grow” additional skin needed for reconstructive surgeries. This medical procedure is accomplished by inserting a “balloon expander” under the area’s skin that requires repair. Once the desired amount is grown, surgeons can now use the extra skin for the reconstructive surgery needed.
- Microsurgery and Flap Procedures
Microsurgery specializes in surgical procedures using microscopes and precision instrumentation to repair very intricate parts of the body like nerves and blood vessels with diameters less than a few millimeters. Some of the most common microsurgeries are the following:
- Nerve repair and grafting – when nerve ends cannot be brought together
- Lymphatic reconstruction – used for destructed and obstructed lymphatic vessels
- Digit replantation – reattachment of amputated fingers or toes
- Toe-to-hand transplantation – uses toes to reconstruct amputated fingers
Flap procedures are also tissue-based reconstructive surgeries and move live and healthy tissues from one location of the patient’s body to another. These live tissues are moved to areas with lost skin, fat, and muscle movement and used for skeletal support. Different types of flap reconstruction surgery include the following:
- Local flap – skin tissues remain attached on one end to keep the blood supply flowing on that piece of skin
- Regional flap – involve sections of tissues that are attached by a particular blood vessel
- Bone or soft tissue flap – used when moving bone and the overlying skin to a new location
- Muscle and skin flap – used to cover an area that needs more bulk and increased blood supply
- Microvascular free flap – involves the detachment and reattachment of skin and blood vessels from one location to another
- Facial Surgeries
Facial reconstructive surgeries are performed to correct and rebuild facial features and deformities. Perhaps the most common among all reconstructive surgeries since facial surgeries are borderline with procedures done for cosmetic plastic surgery. Facial surgeries are done usually for these common causes of facial defects:
- Fractures of Facial Bones – includes the nose, the area around the eyes, cheekbones, and parts of the upper and lower jaw usually caused by trauma to the face
- Mandible Fractures – most commonly fractured bone of the face caused by trauma
- Complex Facial Lacerations – cut or tear in the face caused by being struck
- Head and Neck Injuries – caused by physical assault or traumatic falls and accidents
- Nasal Deformity and Trauma – malformations of functional and aesthetic aspects of the nose
- Facial Scars / Ear Injury and Deformity
- Facial Cysts, Growths, and other Lesions
- Skin Cancer and Facial Defects from Mohs Surgery
How Reconstructive Surgery Can Help
Based on all of the information we have discussed today, reconstructive surgery pretty much helps in any fracture, injury, or deformity that needs taking care of. With the advancements and innovations, especially in the medical field, any reconstructive concern can be addressed and eventually be restored and corrected much to the patient’s satisfaction. Reconstructive surgery has proven effective in restoring your physical problems and reconstructs one’s mental and emotional foundations once the results manifest.
Want to explore and try reconstructive surgery but still have questions and reservations? Not to worry, our amazing friends from Cache Valley Facial Plastics are the best in the field and can help you, especially with your facial reconstructive surgery concerns.