Reconstructive surgery is a branch of medicine that focuses on restoring normal appearance, function, and correcting deformities on different parts of the human body. Reconstructive surgery is one of the two subspecialties of plastic surgery, with the other one being cosmetic surgery.
Cosmetic and reconstructive surgery share similar traits. This is because the end goal of both of them capitalizes on having the highest possible cosmetic results regardless of the surgical technique used, which as a result creates a normal or close to normal appearance, as well as improving the patient’s self-confidence.
Types of Reconstructive Surgery
As mentioned, reconstructive surgery is made up of a set of different procedures that correct and restore functionality to abnormalities on different areas of the body and face. These abnormalities may have risen as a result of:
- Birth defects
- Developmental abnormalities
- Certain infections
There are different types of reconstructive surgery, with the common ones being:
Most breast reconstruction surgery cases are as a result of partial or total mastectomy after breast cancer. Breast reconstruction options depend on what has been removed during the breast cancer treatment. If a small part of your breast has been removed, for instance during a lumpectomy, then no reconstruction may be required. But when you’ve had a full mastectomy whereby you’ve had skin, breast tissue, and nipple and areola (flat part of the nipple) removed, then a reconstruction is needed.
When it comes to breast reconstruction, there are two options. One uses a part of your body to reconstruct your breasts, and the other simply uses a breast implant to reconstruct your breast; in some instances, a combination of both is applied.
Breast reduction is a surgical procedure done to reduce the size and weight of the breast tissue. Large and heavy breasts, also known as macromastia, can cause pain and discomfort to a patient making it challenging to perform certain physical activities. This is when the need for a breast reduction surgery arises to address these issues.
Face reconstruction is mostly done to restore the aesthetic appeal and function of different parts of the face. The abnormalities on the face may have occurred as a result of trauma, birth defects (cleft lip), and tumour resection.
Head and Neck Reconstruction
Head and neck reconstruction may be required after treatment for tumors, which are known to leave cosmetic and functional shortfalls on both areas. The technique used in head and neck reconstruction involves reconstructing the affected areas using the patient’s own healthy blood vessels, tissue, bone, muscle and skin harvested from a different area of the body. This is considered one of the most advanced reconstructive surgical techniques that restores function and cosmetic appeal after the removal of the head and neck tumors.
Chest Wall Reconstruction
Chest wall reconstruction is a surgical procedure used to repair damage caused on the chest wall and as a result restoring normal function to the area. This can be as a result of trauma, infection, cancer, and reconstruction post CABG (Coronary artery bypass grafting). During the procedure, depending on the cause of the chest wall damage, the reconstructive surgeon uses different techniques to replace the lost or damaged tissue or bones. These include mesh, or existing healthy tissue or muscles.
Abdominal Wall Reconstruction
Abdominal wall reconstruction is a procedure that is performed in order to restore normal function and anatomy. The abdominal wall as we know it protects several vital organs in the abdomen including the liver, stomach, pancreas, intestines and many others. It also aids in supporting the spine, as well as good posture, in addition to helping in urination and coughing. Abdominal wall reconstruction may be rendered necessary after defects like infection, tumor removal surgery, trauma, and abnormal protrusion like in hernia cases.
This is a set of procedures done to restore or reconstruct either the upper or lower limbs as a result of trauma, tumours, or disease. The reconstructive surgery may be warranted if the cause limits the function of the limb, causes chronic pain, and/or affects the patient’s quality of life. The goal of the procedure is to preserve the function of the limb in question, as well as it’s aesthetic appeal as much as possible.
Types of Surgical Techniques Used in Reconstructive Surgery
Depending on the cause of the deformity, different reconstructive surgery techniques are applied for the best results in restoring function, cosmetic look, and quality of life. These techniques include:
- Super microsurgery
- Free flaps
- Local flaps
- Nano-fat transfer
- Nerve surgery
Get in Touch
Reconstructive surgery at Kings College Hospital Dubai focuses on the safety and care of every patient in a compassionate environment with state-of-the-art facilities. To book an online or in-person consultation and a detailed evaluation by one of our world class plastic and reconstructive surgeons in Dubai, get in touch using the contact details given, and our patient-care staff will book an appointment for you.