Reconstructive Surgery

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Reconstructive is a surgical procedure that covers a variety of procedures. It is mainly done to help repair damaged tissues caused due to a wide range of birth defects or else by traumatic injuries caused due to severe burns or disease. Read More

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Reconstructive Surgery

What does reconstructive surgery mean?

Plastic surgeons do reconstructive surgery to restore normal function. Reconstructive surgery is used to treat body abnormalities and functions caused by trauma, burns, congenital defects, etc. [1]. From the top of the head to the tip of the toe and from newborn babies to older adults, they can treat various conditions [2].
Reconstructive surgery
Picture Courtesy: cosmetic and obesity surgery
Plastic surgeons especially mend holes and repair damage by transferring the tissue of the body from one part to another. The surgeons also carry out reconstructive procedures to improve the patient’s appearance. During the surgical procedure, plastic surgeons through reconstructive surgery help minimize the visual impact of the wound or defect. On the other hand, cosmetic surgery is an extension of reconstructive surgery expected to improve appearance.

What are the different types and techniques of reconstructive surgeries?

Different Types and Techniques of Reconstructive Surgeries: Reconstructive surgery is mainly done based on congenital or acquired conditions. Based on the number of injuries, disfigurement issues, or birth effects that arise, there is always a reconstructive procedure. Some of them include : 1. Breast Reconstruction or Reduction Surgery: For women who have undergone mastectomy for breast cancer or for women who have huge breasts which are causing back problems, in such cases, breast reconstruction or reduction surgery is performed. 2. Skin Graft Surgery for Wound Care: This reconstructive surgical procedure is available for individuals who are victims of burns or cuts that seriously require skin graft surgery. 3. Microsurgery or Flap Procedures: Surgeons perform these surgical procedures to replace parts of the body affected by injury or a disease like cancer. 4. Facial Reconstruction Surgery: Facial reconstruction surgery is performed to correct facial defects like cleft lip or due to breathing problems that are caused due to snoring or due to chronic infections like those that affect sinuses. 5. Surgeries of Feet and Hands: These surgical procedures are performed on people affected by diseases, which include tumors (cancerous and non-cancerous) and webbed or extra toes or fingers. 6. Bone and Tendon Graft 7. Artificial Implants: Reconstructive Surgery – Diagnosis and Treatment Procedures: These are the treatment procedures of reconstructive surgery:

Prior to the treatment:

  • The person’s normal condition is first determined – whether it is a congenital or acquired issue due to trauma.
  • The doctor advises a general health checkup to evaluate the patient’s overall health condition before treatment.
  • The doctor also evaluates the detailed medical history of the patient before surgery.
  • The surgeon will help the patient weigh all of the options and helps to decide the type of surgery required and the one which suits the patient. 

During the treatment:

The person undergoing reconstructive procedure normally goes through any of the techniques: skin grafting or tissue expansion or flap surgery, or microsurgery.
  • After giving anesthesia, a balloon-like device called an expander is then inserted. It is inserted under the skin near the area to be treated.
  • Once the procedure is done, it is gradually filled with saltwater, thus causing the skin to stretch and grow. This surgical procedure is used for tissue expansion.
  • In the other case, during flap surgery, a living piece of tissue is usually transferred from one body area to another along with the blood vessel.
  • A healthy patch of skin is then taken from one part of the body, also known as the donor area, to cover another area where the skin is missing. This is done in the skin grafting procedure.
  • On the other hand, microsurgery is a procedure that uses magnification and tiny sutures to join together parts of tiny arteries, nerves, and veins.

Prognosis, Post-treatment, and Recovery:

  • You’ll be given pain medication by the doctor as needed based on the type of procedure
  • Follow-up and frequent checkups with the doctor will be recommended post-surgery
Will Insurance cover the reconstructive surgery procedure? Unlike most surgical procedures, usually, most insurance companies cover the cost of reconstructive surgery, mainly if you’re experiencing a functional issue.  


Plastic surgery, which is defined by the surgical techniques, has generally two-components which is reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery.

  • Reconstructive surgery is a surgical procedure to restore function as well as appearance of the human body mainly after illness or accident
  • Cosmetic surgery, on the other hand, unlike most surgical specialties are mainly defined by an anatomical area
  • Most reconstructive work requires major operations and covers all aspects of wound healing as well as problems from acquired and traumatic problems
  • Cosmetic surgeries are mainly done to improve the appearance from choice


1. Is plastic and reconstructive surgery the same?

Reconstructive surgery is a surgical procedure that comes under the umbrella or branch of plastic surgery like cosmetic surgery.

2. What is plastic surgery (plastic surgery definition)?

Plastic surgery is a special type of surgery that can change a person’s appearance and ability to function.

3. Why is it called plastic surgery?

Plastic surgery is called plastic surgery since it is coined from the Greek word plastikos, which means to form or mold.

4. What is plastic and hand surgery?

Plastic surgeons who perform hand surgery for patients usually seek to restore hand and finger function.

5. What is asps plastic surgery?

ASPS plastic surgery or the American Society of Plastic Surgeons is a group or committee of surgeons who have the training and experience to perform plastic surgery such as reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery on people.

6. How long does it take to recover from reconstructive surgery?

Recovery from reconstructive surgery varies from person to person and depends on the type of surgery performed. Few patients recover within a few weeks, whereas patients might take a few months to recover completely in complicated surgeries.

7. Is reconstructive surgery done at the same time after mastectomy?

Surgeons can do reconstructive surgery at the same time after the mastectomy procedure. It is called an immediate reconstruction procedure.

8. Who are the candidates eligible for reconstructive surgery?

People who are eligible for reconstructive surgeries are:

  • People with birth defects such as cleft lip or cleft palate, craniofacial anomalies, etc
  • People with deformities such as people who were victims of burns, accidents, aging, etc.

9. What are the complications associated with reconstructive surgeries?

A few of the complications associated with reconstructive surgeries are listed below:

  • Infection of the graft or implants
  • Delay in wound healing
  • Hematoma and seroma collection at the operated area [3]
  • Failure of the graft 
  • Scarring
  • Complications associated with anesthesia
  • The risk of complications may increase in patients with: smoking, impaired immune system, HIV patients, poor nutrition intake, decreased blood supply at the operated area [4].

10. What is the duration of reconstructive surgery last?

The duration of reconstructive surgery depends upon the severity and type of surgery performed. Few surgeries may last for an hour, and a few more surgeries might take a longer duration [5].

11. What are the advantages of reconstructive surgeries?

Advantages of reconstructive surgeries are:

  • Helps the patient to lead a better quality of life
  • Functional restoration
  • Improved appearance
  • Enhance emotional well-being.