In the last two decades plastic surgery has advanced in leaps and bounds, with more people than ever before opting for cosmetic procedures. But plastic surgeons don’t only perform operations that offer cosmetic enhancements, they can also correct defects and perform reconstructive surgeries for those who have been maimed or disfigured in one way or any other.Each and every plastic surgeon will have their own speciality or field that they focus on. For some, a particular interest in correcting defects such as hare lips may determine their scope, while others prefer to focus on cosmetic surgery such as facelifts, rhinoplasty and eyelid lifts. Breast augmentation has become increasingly popular too, and some surgeons specialise in this field only. Reconstructive plastic surgeons may never perform elective cosmetic operations, they may only help patients rebuild their lives and change their physical appearance to look more ‘normal’. There are also a few cosmetic surgeons who are focusing on body modifications and as this trend grows, a greater number are sure to follow suit.
Plastic Surgeon Qualifications
A plastic surgeon must first complete a doctor of medicine or osteopathy degree before they pursue postgrad training in their desired field. Most postgrad programs require four years of training, and in the case of plastic surgeons who are looking to specialise in a specific field, another year or two may be required.
For surgeons who wish to specialise in a specific field there are several sub-categories that can be pursued. Sub-specialities include neck and head surgery and hand surgery, as well as reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery.
Two Distinct Groups
Essentially, one can separate plastic surgeons into two distinct categories – those that specialise in cosmetic surgery and those that specialise in reconstructive surgery. Surgeons who specialise in cosmetic surgery may, however, also work on the same patients attended to by reconstructive specialists, especially in the case of those who have been disfigured.
Often car crash victims, people with birth defects or those who have been burnt in a fire require extensive reconstructive surgery. Once their reconstructive surgery has been completed, they may need further cosmetic surgery to complete the process. A plastic surgeon that specialises in cosmetic surgery will then complete the final stages in their transformation.
Reconstruction and Rejuvenation
Plastic surgeons who specialise in cosmetic surgeries are more focused on aesthetics than on rebuilding the human body. They are there to sculpt and reshape the body, and to change a personal appearance to be more symmetrical, enhanced or simply look younger. Their focus is on creating the ideal result, and in many cases to rejuvenate someone’s appearance.
However, with rejuvenation can come reconstruction. In the case of a tummy tuck, a patient will need a new belly button, and in some breast augmentation procedures new nipples are shaped. A plastic surgeon will then have to draw on their reconstruction skills to create a natural looking result, and in some cases may call on another specialist to aid in this reconstruction process.
Regardless of which field plastic surgeons specialise in, they are highly trained doctors who have studied extensively and are able to alter or improve on a patient’s appearance in the desired way.