History states that reconstructive surgery techniques were used as early as 800BC in India by Acharya Sushruta, and it had only gotten better and more advanced with millions of people going under the knife both for medical and cosmetology reasons.
What is Plastic Surgery?
Plastic surgery is a technique that generally involves manipulating and moving tissue around to achieve a particular purpose. The word Plastic itself is derived from the Greek word ‘’plastikos’’ which means to mold. So plastic surgery is a procedure which could be invasive or non-invasive to mold parts of the body to restore normalcy of function in areas where there had been damaged tissue, illness or abnormality, although it is more popularly used to improve the overall appearance of the body and to achieve a desired look.
Restoring body functions and improving the patient’s appearance is what plastic surgery is mostly about, while achieving a desired look is the main goal of cosmetic surgery. In short, the former covers both health and aesthetics, while the latter is about aesthetics exclusively.
Reconstructive plastic surgery is performed to correct and repair damaged tissues that occur as a result of the following:
- Breast, face or other body parts damaged as a result of cancer
- Birth abnormalities
- Injuries and burns from accidents
This is the oldest form of plastic surgery. It is usually used up till now for extensive burns, large wounds, missing or removed body areas due to surgical procedure probably due to a disease like cancer. The process involves taking healthy skin from an unaffected part of the body and using it to cover damaged parts of the body, in most cases, the skin.
The types of skin graft are:
Full thickness skin graft
Here, the epidermis and the dermis are removed and then closed with stitches used to close a small area or wound. It usually applied when matching the skin graft’s color to normal skin
Split thickness skin graft
From the name, it is just some part of the dermis and the full epidermis that are used to cover larger areas. They have higher success rates than the full thickness skin graft.
This procedure is done by stretching of surrounding tissue of the affected part in a bid to incite and encourage skin growth in the area which will then be used to reconstruct an affected area. This method is used for breast reconstruction and large wound repair with the aim of retaining same skin color and texture. Depending on the size of the skin required, the time of growth may take three to four months.
“After undergoing mastectomy, the breast skin can be very thin,” says Dr. Gary Breslow, a plastic surgeon who specializes in breast procedures. “This is a result of the cancerous tissue being removed. In such cases, a tissue expander prosthesis helps make room for the implant.”
This is more major that the other two stated above because it involves tissue and blood vessels transfer from a healthy part to the affected part.
The skin is left attached to the body from where the tissue is removed thereby creating a flap from where the surgery gets its name from. Since it includes blood vessels that keep the tissue alive, this surgery has more success rate with low risk of the tissue failing unlike the skin graft.
All plastic surgeries can be carried out under general or local anesthesia, although this depends on the size and location of the affected area.
Why it is popular these days?
Pop Culture and Idolization
The pop culture trend has a large following globally, with cultures merging into each other, many aiming to be like the celebrities they idolize. Fans and admirers alike of celebrities both in the music industry and movie industry, look up to their idols and tend to want to be like them. Many are taken as personal role models to the younger generations and cosmetic surgery is almost the norm among these so-called idols leading to an increase in plastic surgeries among those that want to imitate them.
“Recent statistics released by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery even show that younger people are influenced by online celebrities, and seek out plastic surgery to look better in selfie,” says Dr. Breslow.
Self-discontentment and Affordability
It’s hard to find people who are perfectly content with their bodies. Self-discontentment about a certain part of the body part is very common and with plastic surgery becoming so affordable, it makes it easier to go ahead and change the part that a person is not satisfied with. There are many new techniques that are less invasive and non-surgical, so it becomes less risky and affordable to satisfy that self-discontentment.
Long gone are the days when people felt a sense of shame for getting plastic surgery, now many are proud to say it and show it. With the stigma gone, this has also contributed to the growing popularity of plastic surgery.
Whatever the reason you may require plastic surgery either medical or aesthetics, it is important to go to a certified plastic surgeon, get a consultation to avoid having a botched surgery or one that will leave you worse off than before.
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Article Submitted by Community Writer.