Uses of Plastic Surgery
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Plastic surgeons just do cosmetic procedures like breast augmentation and nips and tucks, right? Wrong! Plastic surgeons often are at the forefront of using new and improved reconstructive techniques. In breast reconstruction, for example, plastic surgeons now can build a new nipple and match the reconstructed breast to the other, and they encourage use of a new skin–sparing mastectomy that promises an almost scarless result. Using highly precise microsurgery, plastic surgeons can reattach hands and other severed body parts. San Francisco plastic surgeons performed the world’s first tongue reattachment microsurgery in 1997.
Other plastic surgeons give people a chance for a new life by removing tattoos that are negative reminders of their past. Using a laser, plastic surgeons can remove tattoos from former gang members, concentration camp survivors and people who just don’t want their tattoos anymore.
Correcting birth defects
Plastic surgeons also pioneered craniofacial surgery, according to Dr. Kenneth Salyer, MD, a plastic surgeon and director of the International Craniofacial Institute in Dallas. Craniofacial surgeons treat birth defects, acquired facial abnormalities, injuries and tumors in both children and adults. “Craniofacial surgery is a relatively new field that offers hope to thousands of children and young adults who previously couldn’t have their facial deformities corrected,” Dr. Salyer says.“ Twenty–five years ago, there wasn’t much that could be done for children born with deformed faces and heads. Today, using advanced reconstructive techniques, we’re able to completely rebuild the face and restore the bones to normal.”