1- From the top of the head to the tip of the toe, and from newborn babies to the very elderly, reconstructive surgery is used to treat a wide range of conditions.

2- Reconstructive surgery is all about repairing people and restoring function. It is performed to repair and reshape bodily structures affected by birth defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma/injuries, infections, tumours and disease.

3- Using a wide range of reconstructive techniques, plastic surgeons mend holes and repair damage primarily through the transfer of tissue from one part of the body to another. Their main aim is to restore the body, or the function of a specific part of the body, to normal.

4- However, plastic surgeons carrying out reconstructive surgery also try to improve and restore appearance. Wherever possible they attempt to minimise the visual impact of the initial wound or defect, and the impact of the surgery itself.

5- Cosmetic surgery is an extension of reconstructive surgery in which the main functional gain to be expected is an improvement in appearance.

6- Reconstructive surgery is used to treat a wide range of conditions which fall into the two following categories, congenital and acquired:

Cleft lip and palate Using local flaps and grafts, surgeons can repair the incompletely fused area of the lip and palate.

Vascular anomalies, such as birthmarks Surgical excision, combined with other treatment options, are available for the treatment of arteriovenous malformations (AVM) and certain haemangiomas.

Prominent ears, constricted ears and microtia Reconstructive surgery is used to correct all manner of ear defects; techniques include otoplasty for prominent or constricted ears and ‘autogenous ear reconstruction’ for the treatment of microtia.

Hypospadias Soft tissue reconstruction is used to correct this defect of the urethra in baby boys.

Craniofacial conditions Reconstructive surgery is used to correct a wide range of cranial and facial deformations, such as craniosynostosis.

Cancer Plastic surgeons spend a great deal of time operating on cancer patients. Reconstructive surgery, mainly excision, closure and flap reconstruction, is used to treat a range of cancer conditions, especially cancer of the skin, breast, head and neck and sarcoma.

Trauma Reconstructive surgical techniques are crucial in the treatment of trauma and injury. These injuries most commonly involve the hand – in fact, 50% of the work carried out in many plastic surgery units is concerned with hand trauma. The treatment of open fractures of the lower limb is also common, as is surgery to repair soft tissue injuries of the face.

Infection Reconstructive surgery is used to remove dead tissue following severe infections and to repair the surrounding area.

Burns Plastic surgeons are the primary clinicians involved in the resuscitation, surgical treatment and reconstruction of patients who have suffered burns.

Hand surgery Plastic surgeons are involved in the management of a wide range of conditions that affect the hand including nerve compression, paralysis, arthritis, ganglions and Dupuytren’s Contracture

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