What does plastic surgery mean
Plastic surgery, i.e. plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery, covers a very wide field of activities. It is performed on children as well as adults and the elderly, and on men and women alike. It can even save lives as well as improving the quality of life. As a specialist in various disciplines, the plastic surgeon is called on to treat special problems.
Plastic surgery is the generic term for this area of expertise. Better knowledge of anatomy, improvements in anaesthetics, the fight against post-operative infection, developments in microsurgery, new instruments as well as ever greater expectations and demands on the part of the general public are the reasons behind the rapid post-WWII development in plastic surgery and its ability to treat increasingly complex problems.
Reconstructive surgery treats birth defects and deformities as well as skin and tissue loss resulting from accidents, burns, the removal of a tumour or an illness. The main aim is to restore physical integrity and functions.
Cosmetic surgery is aimed at correcting cosmetic defects or blemishes. It ranges from treatment to correct signs of ageing to procedures to improve congenital or acquired blemishes. Plastic surgery is the only state-recognised form of cosmetic surgery!
Naturally, plastic surgeons are also highly active in the field of teaching and research. Moreover, plastic surgeons are involved in many humanitarian projects and programmes covering, for example, the treatment of NOMA, buruli, leprosy, burns, hare lips etc.