Plastic surgery involves medical procedures that aim to correct or reform a specific area of the body. The number of procedures has greatly expanded over the past few years. Also due to technological advances and experienced professionals, it is as safe as ever. While plastic surgery has traditionally been tied to aesthetic improvements, it serves many other functions. It can take various forms including cheek implants, ear pinning, nose jobs, breast augmentation, breast reduction, buttock lift, tummy tuck and liposuction. Almost any part of the body can be improved to fulfill patient needs.As a bonus most reconstructive procedures caused by developmental abnormalities, infection, trauma or disease are covered by insurance.
The first human to successfully receive a skin graft was Walter Yeo, a British soldier injured in World War I. Throughout the First World War, Harold Gillies developed many techniques to assist wounded soldiers that had severe facial injuries. His cousin, Archibald McIndoe, furthered his work during World War II by treating those with severe burns. Harold Gillies later successfully conducted the first female to male sex change in 1946. Since then, plastic surgery has grown by leaps and bounds with new procedures slowly becoming available.
There are three primary types of plastic surgery; cosmetic, reconstructive and sub-specialties. Cosmetic procedures are purely aesthetic with the goal of enhancing a specific feature. The primary focus is restoration, enhancement or maintenance of a regular appearance. Reconstructive procedures are implemented to correct impairments caused by traumatic injuries. Finally, sub-specialties include burns, further cosmetics, craniofacial, hand, micro and pediatric.
One of the most common procedures during the operation is skin grafting. This occurs when skin is transplanted onto a specific area of the body. There are three main methods for skin grafts; autografts, allografts and xenografts. Autograft samples are taken from one area of the patient and grafted to another. Allograft samples are removed from one donor that has the same species of skin. Finally xenografts originate from one donor that has a different species. To be successful doctors prepare with careful planning of incisions, suitable wound closures and the best materials which all contribute to minimal scarring.
The number of procedures endured each year is growing. As operations become safer due to improved technology, more patients are having different treatments completed for aesthetic or reconstructive purposes. Doctors in this field are providing a needed service to improve the appearance of their patients or return them to a level in which they feel comfortable.
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