Reconstruction Surgery: surgery to restore function or normal appearance by reconstructing defective organs or parts. (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reconstructive%20surgery)
Reconstruction Surgery VS. Elective Surgery
Plastic surgery is intended to alter the shape or aesthetics of the body. Usually, no medical condition is treated but sometimes plastic surgery is used to treat conditions that may have resulted from another medical condition. Examples of those types of situations might be skin tightening after massive weight loss, or scarring from a tummy tuck. The relationship between body image and self-esteem is impossible to deny and our mental health can be tied deeply to our feelings about our appearance. Therefore, some aesthetic procedures can also be deemed “necessary” for the mental wellness of the patient.
- reconstruction after a mastectomy
- reconstruction after cancers of the skin
- reconstruction to correct birth defects
- treatment of abnormal scars
- breast reduction surgery to treat persistent pain
On the other hand, elective plastic surgery is surgery that is not medically necessary to treat a condition. Examples might include:
- Breast implant surgery
- Tummy tuck
In short, elective surgeries are considered to only make aesthetic improvements with no medical necessity. Now, let’s discuss a few types of reconstruction surgery.
What Is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia: Excessive development of the male breasts. Temporary enlargement of the breasts is not unusual or abnormal in boys during adolescence or during recovery from malnutrition. Gynecomastia maybe abnormal as, for example, in Klinefelter’s syndrome. (https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/16227-enlarged-male-breast-tissue-gynecomastia)
This is a reconstruction surgery for male breast reduction. Men with exceptionally large breasts or excess tissue in the chest may suffer from severe mental trauma and embarrassment. One common cause for this is hypogonadismor issues with testosterone production. Others include:
- hormonal changes
- kidney failure
- liver failure
- Steroid use
Dr. Khan will also want to discuss medicines that can cause the condition, which include (but are not limited to):
- AIDS and HIV medications
- Anti-anxiety medications
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Ulcer medications
What’s NOT Gynecomastia?
- Fatty breast tissue
- Breast cancer (uncommon in male patients)
- Mastitis (an infection of the breast tissue)
How is gynecomastia treated?
At our Detroit area offices, the doctor will go over the possible causes, symptoms and treatments of your gynecomastia. This consultation is a vital first step for building a solid patient-physician rapport. The two main options for gynecomastia are mastectomy and liposuction. Which is right for you will depend a great deal on your situation and body. Your recovery process will be different depending on which route you go, as well.
What Is Burn Reconstruction Surgery
Burn Reconstruction: There are two main categories of burn surgery: acute and reconstructive. Acute burn care occurs immediately after the injury. It is delivered by a team of trauma surgeons (General Surgeons) that specialize in acute burn care. Complex burns often require consultation with plastic surgeons, who assist with the inpatient and outpatient management of these cases. Large burns, or burns of critical body areas, should be treated at a verified burn center, such as the Trauma Burn Center here at the University of Michigan. Many smaller burns can be treated with outpatient options. Some patients may need reconstructive burn surgery after the initial burn wounds have healed. This type of care is usually provided by a plastic surgeon. https://www.uofmhealth.org/conditions-treatments/surgery/plastic/burn-reconstructive
Burn reconstruction surgery is exactly what it sounds like. It is surgery performed to improve the form and function of the skin after suffering burns. It is not just used to make the scars look better but is also often used to help the patient regain mobility and function. Scar tissue treatments often take several months to be effective and, unfortunately, fresh scar contractures can materialize afterward. This is especially true in patients who are still growing. The relationship between the surgeon and patient will last for many procedures and it is vital that a good rapport be maintained. Finding a surgeon who understands your needs and supports your decisions is absolutely essential.
What are the burn reconstruction surgeries?
- skin grafts: taking away skin from one area of the body and relocating it to a different part of the body.
- skin rearrangement: (sometimes called Z-plasty) a Z-shaped incision lessens tightness in scar tissue.
- tissue expansion: The body grows extra skin around a silicone balloon expander.
These procedures are all effective for different reasons and are suitable for specific situations. Only a surgeon with experience can help you decide which surgery (or surgeries) makes sense. In addition, your doctor may advise you to wait. Final modification of burn scarring should usually be delayed for a year (or longer) because scars will mature over time. Waiting for scar maturation is inappropriate when vital structures are vulnerable. Urgent procedures should be limited to those necessary to proper body function. Examples include:
- eyelid release
- correction of distracted or entrapped neurovascular bundles
- severe fourth degree contractures
- severe microstomia
What Is Post-Bariatric Reconstruction Surgery?
Body contouring refers to a broad field of plastic surgery procedures that address areas of excess fat and/or skin. Body contouring procedures can be performed in normal-weight patients, patients who have lost significant weight through diet and exercise, and patients who have lost weight after bariatric surgery. https://medicine.stonybrookmedicine.edu/surgery/patient-care/clinical/plastic-reconstructive-surgery/patient-education/faqs-about-body-contouring-surgery
Post-bariatric reconstruction surgery is also known as body contouring and is often a “next step” for bariatric patients ready to get rid of excess skin so that they can live a full and unhindered life. Unfortunately, the weight loss process is not always enough for those who have been severely obese to get their lives back. They may be (literally) weighed down by the remnants of their weight.
The possible post-bariatic reconstruction surgeries include:
- Abdominoplasty. The removal of excess skin from the abdomen – sometimes called a “tummy tuck”
- Panniculectomy: the removal of excess skin hanging down to the thighs (referred to as a pannus)
- Mastopexy: lifting the breast with a crescent lift (for minimum sagging), donut lift (for moderate sagging) and or full mastopexy (for extreme sagging).
- Lower body lift: removal of excess skin from the lower body with a single big opening near the waist and extending around the body. (Quite extensive and invasive which is why it is so often done over multiple surgeries)
- Brachioplasty: arm lift.
- Mammaplasty: breast reduction.
- Thighplasty: thigh lift.
For too many years, people had to live with scars that limited not just their mobility but also their mentality. But, thanks to modern medicine, our team has the distinct honor of helping people move past an unpleasant situation with a renewed sense of self. Reconstruction surgery, and the advancements that have been made within the field, have changed the lives of so many people.
It is not the right choice for everyone, but talking to a surgeon will help you make a decision. There are considerations like how long it has been since the initial injury, how much weight you have lost or other factors depending a great deal on your specific needs. It is not a one-size-fits-all field and we take our patients’ personal needs into account with each and every procedure. Call now: 734-419-1615