The often unsung benefits of plastic surgery

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— Some are quick to pigeon hole plastic surgery as something restricted to the rich, famous or the vain. But plastic surgery often helps restore confidence and functionality, and is often relied on to correct birth defects or injuries.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 1 million reconstructive surgery procedures are performed each year. Plastic surgery can help repair everything from cleft palates to mastectomies. Many injuries, disfigurements or birth defects can now be mitigated if not corrected entirely by modern plastic surgery.

Cleft lip or palate mending

Cleft lip (cheiloschisis) and cleft palate (palatoschisis) are some of the most common birth defects affecting children in North America, says ASPS. They form during the very early stages of development when portions of the upper lip and the roof of the mouth fail to develop normally in utero. Through specialized surgery techniques, clefts can be repaired to improve appearance and improve a child’s ability to eat, speak and breathe.

Skin cancer repair

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common form of all cancers. Around 2 million people each year are affected by skin cancers. Dermatologists can remove cancerous growths, but often have to work with a plastic surgeon to minimize scarring or disfigurement at the surgical sites once the growths have been removed.

Breast reconstruction

Women who have undergone mastectomy procedures for cancer treatment may opt to have breast reconstruction surgery. A plastic surgeon can restore a more natural appearance to the breast through the use of implants or surgical techniques to recreate the nipple and areola. Plastic surgeons also can help reduce the appearance of scarring around the incision sites.

Hand or foot surgery

Hands and feet affected by any number of conditions can be operated on to achieve a more natural look. Webbed toes or fingers, burns and even extra fingers or toes can be surgically corrected by a plastic surgeons, helping patients regain confidence and functionality.

Plastic surgery is an effective tool that can be used to treat a host of conditions and injuries. Unlike elective cosmetic procedures, reconstructive surgeries are often covered by insurance companies. Individuals can contact their carriers to learn more. TF15A616