A very popular term – plastic surgery may bring all kinds of thoughts to one’s mind and that is often because it is a term that has good and bad connotations attached to it. While many debate whether plastic surgery is good or bad, it definitely depends on case-to-case and if a doctor decides to go ahead with plastic surgery, it might be because it is the best available solution.
Now, while many would confuse cosmetic surgery with plastic surgery, it is critical to understand that cosmetic surgery is focussed on enhancing a patient’s physical appearance only, whereas plastic surgery is a surgical speciality focussed on reconstruction of any defects in the face or body tissues which may be due to birth disorders, trauma, burns, and diseases. Cosmetic surgery is a branch of plastic surgery which strives to enhance the outward appearance.
However, on the other hand, plastic surgery is reconstructive and aims to rectify the dysfunctional areas of the body. Plastic surgery can be done on any part of the body except for the central nervous system.
Some types of plastic surgeries include:
- Breast reconstruction
- Burn surgery
- Congenital anomalies (such as cleft palate, deformed ears, cleft lip, etc.)
- Hand surgery
- Scar revision surgery
- Facial skeleton surgery
- Birthmarks surgery
- Tattoo removal
- Lower Extremity Reconstruction
- Abnormally shaped heads
- Webbed fingers
Despite medical advances and the rising demand for plastic surgery today, it is still a surgery that requires deep thought and analysis. With multiple pros that this surgical advancement brings, there are also many setbacks of plastic surgery. Some of these include:
Pros of Plastic Surgery
- Boosts self-confidence and self-esteem: Birth defects and deformities can cause a significant blow on one’s self-esteem, but plastic surgery can help provide a nudge to self-confidence. Birth defects such as cleft palate make it difficult for the person to speak, causing a lot of problems and hampering the essential quality of life; plastic surgery can correct this deformity, enabling the person to express and speak openly. More so, victims of an acid attack, people with birth defects, burn victims, etc. can also gain another chance at life by rebooting their self-confidence through plastic surgery which rectifies the body tissues.
- Rectifies physical impairment to gain or regain bodily functions: People with webbed fingers, cleft palate, or ones without limbs can all benefit advantageously from plastic surgery directed to rectify the body impairment, enabling the patients to gain function of the particular organ or tissue. This enables them to lead a normal life and functional routinely. Webbed fingers can be operated and with the help of prosthetics, patients can undertake normal functioning with their hands. Cleft palate patients can undergo plastic surgery to repair their defect and then a speech therapy will allow them to talk clearly unlike before the plastic surgery. On the other hand, people who meet accidents and suffer impairments, which can be corrected with plastic surgery, are also the ones that would gain advantage from this procedure. Acid attack victims, burn victims, can also repair their accidental damage and relive life.
- Eases physical discomfort and pain: Plastic surgery is a boon for people who suffer birth defects, accidental damage, disease or injury which causes a lot of pain and discomfort because of impairment of a body tissue function. Problems such as the deviated septum, small eyes, and imperforate anus can be reconstructed providing the patients relief from pain and uneasiness by normalizing the breathing, bowel movement, and vision. Further, in cases where an injury, disease or accident has caused damage to body tissue (such as a hand, leg, eye, ear, face, chest, mouth, etc.) and led to pain and challenges – such cases can be reconstructed via plastic surgery.
Cons of Plastic Surgery
- Multiple risks and complications: A plastic surgery entails multiple risks and complications that may arise during and after the surgery. Hematoma, seroma, blood loss, infection, nerve damage, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, organ damage, scarring, allergies, complications from anaesthesia, etc. may arise during and post plastic surgery. However, the chances of risks and complications vary case-to-case. In some cases, the results of the plastic surgery also may not be satisfactory for the patients and it might not still boost their confidence and self-esteem. Preparations and considerations should be done well before plastic surgery.
- Involves a lot of money: Plastic surgery is one of the most expensive medical treatments since it demands a lot of money for the surgery, as well as a lot of expenditure post the surgery. Some cases such as extensive burns or severe deformities might not be reconstructed in surgery and could require repeated surgical processes, which in turn would shoot up the cost of surgery even further. Plastic surgery also demands a lot of delicate care and attention to ensure there are no complications, even minor complications post the surgery might either disturb the whole balance or can even lead to another surgery which will again blow the budget.
- Can be painful: Some plastic surgery procedures can be extremely demanding and painful for the patients such as skin graft surgery. Further, the recovery time, medications, etc. can be very painful and at the same time discomforting. However, the doctors might suggest pain killers and medications to ease the pain, but in many cases, the patients might grow a dependency on those drugs leading to drug abuse and further related problems.
In all, a considerate thought must be given to both pros and cons to effectively evaluate the need for plastic surgery. That said, the necessity of plastic surgery is also dependent on the severity and condition of each case, hence all factors should be considered, and patients should prepare themselves mentally before taking the final decision.