WHAT IS PLASTIC SURGERY?
The word “Plastic” is derived from the Greek word “Plastikos,” which means “capable of being shaped or molded.” Its most common use is in the visual arts of painting and sculpturing. Plastic surgery has technical features which allow it to rebuild a body’s deformed areas or mold some not-so deformed ones to increase its beauty. Its two main branches are reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.
WHAT IS COSMETIC SURGERY?
When plastic surgery aims to increase beauty; the same features and techniques from reconstructive surgery are used, for this reason a good cosmetic surgeon must be first and foremost an excellent and resourceful reconstructive surgeon.
WHAT IS RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY?
An area of plastic surgery that deals with very serious appearance issues, with the main goal of improving damaged features, such as deformities caused by severe trauma, cancer or birth defects, from surgeries due to hand burnings, reconstruction from breast cancer, harelip repair, breast reduction when orthopedic issues in the lumbar spine are present, or blepharoplasty in severe cases of dermatochalasis that may even inhibit eyesight.
WHO IS A PLASTIC SURGEON?
A plastic surgeon is a specialized physician, with a high degree of ethics, esthetics and social sense, who has received training and holds enough medical and moral features to perform plastic surgeries as part of their medical practice, helping patients solve their problems in any shape or form consulted.
HOW IS A PLASTIC SURGEON TRAINED?
A plastic surgeon starts off as a general physician, enrolling in a University for six years until finishing their medical studies; then they head to a Teaching Hospital for one year to perform supervised healthcare (also known as an internship); afterwards they go to a smaller Hospital that’s usually far from big cities to take part in their required social services for one year (also known as a rural year). After fulfilling these requirements, they can study their specialty which lasts four years.
Selection criteria is very strict to guarantee that a plastic surgeon trained in Mexico is of the highest scientific quality. During this stage of training the doctor is known as a resident and will have the opportunity to learn and practice all that is necessary for their subsequent performance as a specialist. In our country it is quite common that specialists in plastic surgery trained abroad also offer their services, which is legal after fulfilling all law requirements.
MAKE SURE A CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON OPERATES ON YOU.
With the increasing success of a specialty in plastic surgery, the market and the mass media are filled with information regarding Plastic Surgery procedures, sometimes offering miraculous results, which many times are advertised by people who are not even doctors and are not adequately trained. You may go to official internet websites to review your physician, such as: http://www.cirugiaplastica.org.mx/ddc.html
A properly trained plastic surgeon is aware of their own limitations and those of their resources and makes sure to explain them, such is the reason why a miraculous, spectacular, immediate, painless and risk-free results cannot be offered.
Beware of surgeons with excessive advertising and be cautious of those who put money interests and aggressive marketing tactics to increase their number of patients. Whoever puts wealth on top of medical reasoning in an ethical and social environment, lacks seriousness and professional ethics.
Bragging about oftentimes expensive cutting edge and sophisticated techniques is not a guarantee for magical results, the very best surgical methods have been developed slowly over the years and have stood the rigors of scientific testing in their development. The latest most popular procedure is not always the best and certainly nothing is miraculous.
You don’t have to make an agreement with third parties regarding your surgery and you are not required to remain in the hands of someone else for your post-op care, this is far from a wise and safe surgical procedure.
Take great care from those with no established address or office and simply comes from city to city from abroad for one or two days to another office (sometimes a prestigious office) to operate on you; if you need further assistance from them, you may not be able to find them.
COMMITMENT TO LIFE
Plastic surgery is not something to be taken lightly, it is a commitment to life and the best possible results for our patients, who must place their complete trust in their surgeon.
ARE THERE RISKS FROM PLASTIC SURGERY?
Any operation carries some form of risk or unforeseen events, and cosmetic surgery is no exception from carrying the normal risks of any operation, there are time-consuming and difficult cosmetic surgeries that may lead to significant risk.
Before an operation, you must have a very clear idea of what is your specific risk from this procedure.
HOW TO LOWER PLASTIC SURGERY RISK?
Prior to your surgery, make sure that all personal risks from the surgery have been explained. To diminish it further, a full review must be made prior to the procedure with a medical examination that will rule out illnesses or conditions that may hinder good results, the examination will be complemented with laboratory exams and if necessary by consulting other physicians, for example the intern over issues with hypertension or diabetes, the cardiologist, etc.
- A specialist in anesthesia will carry out an assessment before the procedure.
- The procedure must be made in an operating room with all essential requirements, this room must be located within an institution that is able to offer support in case of an emergency such as the probability of a transfusion, transport and special or intensive care if necessary.
- The right choice of your surgeon and operating site may significantly reduce risk.
- Following all of your surgeon’s instructions and recommendations before and after your surgery will be of utmost importance.
- Take all the time needed to recover as advised. Going back to work or planning a huge vacation may hinder normal recovery time.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM PLASTIC SURGERY?
Most surgical techniques may offer reasonable results with adequate risks.
Results may vary according to your prior condition, the kind of procedure to be performed and post-op developments.
In some cases the procedure may leave scars that could be hidden or be a bit noticeable, but in other cases they may be very notable and visible.
Make sure that what you expect from plastic surgery is similar to what I explained and offered during your consult, otherwise it may lead to an unusual expectation and this could turn into an unsatisfactory result.
Plastic surgery has very valuable resources to improve patientcare, but within these resources there are only normal surgical skills, scalpels and other components, quite far from perfect, immediate, risk-free and painless results!
WHAT ARE THE MOST FREQUENT COSMETIC SURGERIES?
Plastic surgery may offer a great variety of cosmetic surgeries to increase, decrease, or reaffirm some body feature, adjusting to any type of consultation.
The most common procedures are:
- Facial rejuvenation (wrinkles, eyelids, forehead, cheeks, neck)
- Nose (Cosmetic Rhinoplasty)
- Lifting and changes to the facial skeleton (chin, cheekbone, jaw, abnormal bite adjustment, outline changes and facial proportions).
- Lifting and changes to breast size (increase, decrease and reaffirming with the use of prosthetics)
- Changes to body outline (abs, back, glutes, hip, thighs)
WHAT ARE THE COSTS?
Many plastic surgeries, in particular those in the reconstructive field, are part of mandatory health plans and are covered by many insurance and health service providers. However, cosmetic surgeries are not covered by any health plan and the total cost must be paid by the patient; cost varies according to the kind of procedure.
Additional costs that cover an adequate operating room, clinic and specialist are invaluable if compared to the reassurances that it brings, as well as the benefits they provide.
WHAT ARE THE LATEST INNOVATIONS IN PLASTIC SURGERY?
The development of grafts, expanding implants and microsurgery implants, are some of the contributions provided by plastic surgery to medicine, each day there are new innovations and new techniques added such as endoscopy and lasers to improve recovery and result from plastic surgeries.
The techniques with the best results have definitely been established slowly over the years, every day there are new techniques that must acquire scientific validation to be applied to patients safely.
What’s new is not always the best, it may not even be scientifically proven.