Reconstructive surgery is a type of plastic surgery performed on abnormal body parts. The surgery is performed to improve a part of the body’s function, but it is also often done to make the treated part look more normal. Reconstructive surgery is performed on people who have been disfigured or injured by trauma, congenital defects, tumors, infection or disease. Burn victims and accident survivors are examples of trauma patients who might need reconstructive surgery, as well as soldiers who were wounded in combat.
Examples of trauma reconstructive surgery include tumor removal and reattachment of body parts. Burn victims often need to have dead tissue cleared away from the wound in a procedure called debridement, and they need skin grafts to replace the damaged skin. Trauma patients also often undergo surgery to remove scars caused by their injuries. People with severe head injuries could also need reconstructive surgery.
Who is a good candidate for trauma reconstructive surgery?
A person considering trauma reconstructive surgery should have realistic expectations of the surgery’s results. They need to understand that the primary goal of the surgery will be to restore and improve function of a damaged body part. In many cases, the surgery will not make them look completely normal. For example, a burn victim needs to realize that while the surgery can make their scars less noticeable, it will probably not get rid of them completely.
Similarly, the patient needs to understand what the procedure will involve. He or she will need to understand the risks involved in the surgery. For example, some people have reactions to the anesthesia. There can be a risk of nerve damage, especially in people undergoing head or hand surgery. The patient will also need to understand the doctor’s instructions for post-surgery care and abide by them. That care may include physical therapy of some sort to go along with the aftercare. The patient may also need some sort of aftercare in which case they may need a caregiver or support network of some type.
Lastly, the patient needs to be generally healthy. All surgeries involve some risk, and the surgeon could postpone the procedure if the patient’s health is poor, especially if the patient has severe heart or lung disease. The surgeon may also want to wait if the patient is pregnant or nursing because of the risks to the child.
Some conditions, like diabetes or autoimmune disorders, can hamper the healing process as well as some medications. At the very least, the patient needs to tell the surgeon about such conditions so the latter can plan around them
If you are interested in learning more about trauma reconstructive surgery or you have any questions contact us at Real Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery to schedule a consultation. Our highly trained staff alongside Dr. Salerno could be able to help you along the right path towards getting the reconstruction you need.