Plastic surgery is the procedure of medical intervention where the shape, size and/or appearance of a body part are altered. A person may need changes in his appearance because of various reasons. One is congenital deformity, i.e., if some part is missing or is not normal. Some children are born with a cleft lip, which can be improved and made as normal as possible by plastic surgery. Or a person may not have an outer ear or nose or some such part which can be constructed by using anther part of the person’s own body.
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Sometimes accidents disfigure a person. A fire accident may cause skin to be distorted, or a war may remove a person’s ear or lip or nose, which can be reconstructed by plastic surgery. The third necessity where a person thinks of going in for plastic surgery is if he is not happy with his body and wants to improve his looks. Generally women may go in for breast augmentation or abdominoplasty to improve their appearance. Or any other part of the body, which is ageing or sagging, can be made normal by plastic surgery. This is for cosmetic purposes and is called cosmetic surgery or aesthetic surgery.
Sometimes plastic surgery is done for psychological reasons where the patient needs to have his body altered to give or regain self-confidence. The word ‘plastic’ is derived from ‘plastikos’ a Greek word meaning to mold or shape. Bone, cartilage, muscle, fat and skin can be changed using plastic surgery.
Plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery involves making an incision which can be hidden from the public eye later and it is normally made under the natural folds of the skin, lifting the flap and tightening or loosening the muscles, removing the fat or any other liquid and then suturing the site using sutures which are easily absorbable or easily removed. The graft material can be from the person’s own body or be used from a suitable donor. A burnt skin of the face can be replaced by cutting healthy skin from the calf or arm or abdomen and stitched in the place of the lost skin.
Cosmetic surgery is not a new process. People have been doing it for ages. But it was only after the invention of antibiotics and anesthesia that it became common. Now millions of people undergo plastic surgery procedures every year and are quite happy with the outcome. During the operation, the surgeon may use liposuction to remove excess fat, perform microsurgery and use techniques suitable for the surgery. More the experience of the surgeon better the result will be.
Like in all surgeries, plastic surgery too carries some risk and some dangers. Infection, pain, swelling, bleeding, discharges, rupturing of sutures etc are some of the common ones. However plastic surgery can now be carried out on an outpatient basis or may require some hospitalization, depending upon the person’s need for it.