Those are common images of plastic surgery, but what about the 4-year-old boy who has his chin rebuilt after a dog bit him? Or the young woman who has thebirthmark on her forehead lightened with a laser?
What Is Plastic Surgery?
Just because the name includes the word "plastic" doesn't mean patients who have this surgery end up with a face full of fakestuff. The name isn't taken from the synthetic substance but from the Greek word plastikos, which means to form or mold (and which gives the material plastic its name as well).
Plastic surgery is aspecial type of surgery that can involve both a person's appearance and ability to function. Plastic surgeons strive to improve patients' appearance and self-image through both reconstructive and cosmeticprocedures.
Reconstructive procedures correct defects on the face or body. These include physical birth defects like cleft lips and palates and ear deformities, traumatic injuries like those fromdog bites or burns, or the aftermath of disease treatments like rebuilding a woman's breast after surgery for breast cancer.
Cosmetic (also called aesthetic) procedures alter a part of the body thatthe person is not satisfied with. Common cosmetic procedures include making the breasts larger (augmentation mammoplasty) or smaller (reduction mammoplasty), reshaping the nose (rhinoplasty), andremoving pockets of fat from specific spots on the body (liposuction). Some cosmetic procedures aren't even surgical in the way that most people think of surgery — that is, cutting and stitching. Forexample, the use of special lasers to remove unwanted hair and sanding skin to improve severe scarring are two such treatments.
Why Do Teens Get Plastic Surgery?
Most teens don't, of course. But...