Plastic Surgery

plastic surgeryDerived from the Greek word "plastikos," meaning "to mold or give form," plastic surgery has the goal of restoring function and form to the body. Unlike most surgical specialties, it is not confined to one organ system or body part. Instead, plastic surgery repairs, reconstructs and replaces physical defects involving:

  • Skin and soft tissue
  • Head and neck
  • Facial structures
  • Trunk and extremities
  • Hand
  • Breast
  • Peripheral nerves

There are two types of plastic surgery: reconstructive and cosmetic. According to the Americal Medican Association, the two types of plastic surgery are defined as follows:

Reconstructive surgery is performed on abnormal structures of the body caused by congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors or disease. Generally, it is performed to improve function, but also may be performed to approximate a normal appearance.

Cosmetic surgery is performed to reshape normal structures of the body in order to improve the patient's appearance and self-esteem.

Cosmetic and reconstructive procedures performed by plastic surgeons from the GW Division of Plastic Surgery include:

Treatment of skin diseases, cancer, trauma:

  • Malignant and benign lesions of the skin (basal cell, squamous cell)
  • Melanoma
  • Malignant and benign lesions of the soft tissue (sarcoma, lipoma)
  • Birthmarks
  • Reconstructive flaps and grafts
  • Scar revisions

Complex wound and burn treatment:

  • Acute burn management (thermal, chemical, electrical)
  • Reconstructive burn treatment
  • Difficult wound care (infections, bites, foreign bodies, chronic open wounds)
  • End-stage hidradenitis suppurativa

Surgery of the breast:

  • Post-mastectomy breast reconstruction
  • Breast reduction
  • Congenital and developmental breast deformities
  • Gynecomastia

Treatment of facial deformity, disease, trauma:

  • Facial fractures (mandible, zygoma, orbits, nose)
  • Tumors of the lips, mouth, tongue, salivary glands
  • Congenital tumors and vascular malformations
  • Wound and laceration treatment
  • Nasal deformity, ear deformity
  • Cleft lip and palate

Surgery of the hand:

  • Hand and forearm wounds
  • Tendon injuries and lacerations
  • Nerve injuries
  • Fractures of the hand
  • Vascular injuries of the hand
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Dupuytren's contracture
  • Trigger finger
  • Congenital anomalies (extra digits, webbed fingers, etc.)

Surgery of the trunk and extremities:

  • Chest and abdominal wall reconstruction
  • Perineal reconstruction
  • Lower extremity coverage
  • Flaps, grafts, free tissue transfer, expanders

Cosmetic surgery:

  • Facelift (browlift, neck-lift)
  • Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)
  • Cosmetic rhinoplasty
  • Cosmetic otoplasty
  • Liposuction
  • Collagen injections
  • Abdominoplasty
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