When most people think of plastic surgery, they envision a celebrity delaying the effects of aging or a person trying to fix something wrong with their face or body. But there is much more to the field than just those procedures.
Reconstructive and cosmetic procedures can drastically improve a patient’s quality of life. Reconstructive surgeries include rebuilding a cleft lip or palate, breast reconstruction after mastectomy and cancer treatment.
Reconstructive surgery restores form and function to body structures that are abnormal or damaged. These life-changing procedures can correct congenital disabilities, traumatic injuries and diseases. Reconstructive surgery is the largest segment of plastic surgeons’ practice.
Health plans usually cover reconstructive surgery if it is medically necessary. For example, breast reconstruction can help women regain normal appearance and symmetry after a mastectomy.
Other examples of reconstructive surgery include repairing severe wounds, such as those caused by burns or accidents. This involves transplanting skin, bone or muscle tissue to repair the wound. One of the most common procedures is a skin graft, in which surgeons like Dr. Joel Aronowitz move healthy skin from one part of the body to another.
Reconstructive goals often involve balancing two competing factors: what the patient wants and what surgeons deem possible. As such, patients are encouraged to discuss the cosmetic results they expect with their surgeons ahead of time. These discussions can help prevent disappointment.
Aesthetic surgery can be performed for cosmetic or functional reasons. Procedures include laser skin resurfacing (using short, concentrated beams of light to reduce wrinkles or scarring) and breast reconstruction surgery using silicone or saline implants and the patient’s tissue after mastectomy. It also includes rhinoplasty, which fixes a misshapen nose. Other aesthetic surgeries include:
- A reduction of enlarged ears, chin and stomach.
- Facial fillers to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
- Liposuction to remove excess fat from the body.
- Tummy tucks.
- Other reconstructive procedures.
However, cosmetic procedures are not considered a medical necessity, so health insurance generally does not cover them. For this reason, patients should choose a surgeon like Joel Aronowitz MD, carefully and weigh the pros and cons of a particular procedure. They should also seek a second opinion. By searching the Medical Board of Australia website, remember to find out if a doctor has a specific endorsement for performing a cosmetic procedure.
Nonsurgical procedures are an option for patients who want to make slight cosmetic changes but don’t want to plunge into surgical options. They can help smooth wrinkles, improve skin texture, erase sun damage, remove excess fat from the face and body, and reduce spider veins.
Some nonsurgical procedures can be done in the doctor’s office, and most do not require general anesthesia. Often, they are more affordable than surgical alternatives.
The most popular nonsurgical cosmetic treatments are dermal fillers and laser treatments. Other options include liposuction, which involves suctioning excess fat from the body, and noninvasive fat reduction technology, which uses heat, cooling or injected medication to destroy fat cells. Clinics with a deep understanding of men’s needs and desires for noninvasive NSCP can foster environments where male patients feel comfortable, which helps destigmatize the procedure and leads to desirable results. These clinics can also serve as a gateway for more surgical procedures when the patient is ready.
Many patients choose plastic surgery to enhance their natural beauty, change an aspect of their body that they are self-conscious about, or even improve their health. However, cosmetic surgery and other treatment options are expensive.
Medical insurance may cover reconstructive surgeries, and some specialized private plans cover some cosmetic procedures. Patients must determine what their plan covers and how much they will be expected to pay out of pocket before pursuing treatment.
For example, cosmetic surgery to alter the size of the breasts is rarely covered by insurance. However, some plans may cover breast reduction surgery if large breasts cause physical discomfort and pain. It is also good to check with a GP or specialist consultant before seeking private treatment. This is especially true for weight loss procedures such as gastric bypass or liposuction, which carry far more risks than simply sticking to a healthy diet and exercise regime.