General Reconstruction

The specialty of plastic surgery encompasses both cosmetic plastic surgery and reconstructive plastic surgery. Cosmetic surgery is performed to enhance the appearance of the body. Breast augmentation, liposuction, tummy tuck and facelift are popular examples of cosmetic procedures that help patients feel more confident and comfortable in their skin. Reconstructive surgery is performed to improve function and correct deformities created by injury, medical conditions, congenital abnormalities or aging. Reconstructive procedures may also restore a more normal appearance to the affected area.

Reconstructive surgery helps men and women of all ages attain a better quality of life. At the Celestial Institute of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Bazzi offers a full spectrum of reconstructive procedures to treat conditions affecting patients’ physical and emotional health, so you can feel your best inside and out.

Who Can Benefit From Reconstructive Surgery?

Two types of patients require reconstructive surgery: individuals who have congenital anomalies from birth and individuals who acquire developmental deformities as a result of disease, infection or injury. Reconstructive surgery is commonly used to:

  • Correct overly large or deformed ears
  • Correct cleft lip and palate deformities
  • Correct hand or foot abnormalities
  • Correct abnormal breast development
  • Reduce drooping eyelid skin that impairs vision
  • Improve healing of burn wounds, lacerations or growths
  • Reconstruct areas of the body affected by injury or disease, such as cancer

What Techniques Are Used in Reconstructive Surgery?

Plastic surgeons use numerous techniques to restore normal function and appearance to the body. Before choosing a technique, a surgeon must carefully assess the size, location, features and severity of the defect or damage. The techniques used during reconstructive surgery include:

Skin Grafts: During a skin graft procedure, a healthy patch of skin is completely disconnected from one area of the body (the “donor site”) and used to cover another area where the skin is damaged or missing (the “recipient site”). Skin grafts are frequently used to treat burns, large and deep wounds, skin infections and defects after skin cancer removal.

Tissue Expansion: Tissue expansion helps the body “grow” extra skin by inserting a balloon-like device under the skin and gradually increasing its volume to stretch the tissue. The extra skin can then be used to repair damaged skin or replace missing skin. Tissue expansion is regularly used for breast reconstruction after mastectomy, as well as to repair skin damaged by birth defects or trauma.

Flap Surgery: Flap surgery is an advanced technique that involves the transfer of living tissue that remains connected to its blood vessels from a donor site to a recipient site. Because of their intact blood supply, flaps are often more resilient and produce better cosmetic results than skin grafts. Flap surgery can restore appearance and function to areas of the body that have lost skin, fat, muscle movement and/or skeletal support.

Microsurgery: Reconstructive microsurgery uses microscopes and other precision instruments to repair intricate structures, such as blood vessels and nerves, that are less than a few millimeters in diameter. Plastic surgeons use microsurgery to reconstruct damaged tissues, reattach amputated body parts and transplant tissues from one area of the body to another.

What Are Some Examples of Reconstructive Surgery?

Reconstructive surgery refers to a wide variety of procedures performed to repair damage and restore function to the body. Some of the most common types of reconstructive surgery include:

Breast Reconstruction: Breast reconstruction restores one or both breasts to near normal shape, size, symmetry and appearance following mastectomy, lumpectomy or congenital anomalies. Breast reconstruction techniques primarily fall into two categories: implant-based reconstruction or flap reconstruction.

Cleft Lip and Palate Repair: Cleft lip and palate repair surgically corrects incomplete formation of the upper lip (cleft lip) and/or the roof of the mouth (cleft palate) to restore function to these areas and produce a more normal appearance.

Hand Surgery: Hand surgery treats congenital or acquired hand problems that cause pain and impair function, flexibility and strength. These conditions include rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, Dupuytren’s contracture, syndactyly (webbed fingers), polydactyly (extra fingers), missing digits and trigger fingers.

Scar Revision: Scar revision procedures help minimize the appearance of a scar from injury or a previous surgery so it blends more inconspicuously with the surrounding skin. Hypertrophic scars, keloids and contractures may benefit from scar revision.

Septoplasty: Septoplasty is performed to alleviate snoring and other breathing difficulties caused by a deviated septum. A septoplasty can be performed by itself or in conjunction with a rhinoplasty (“septorhinoplasty”).

Will Insurance Cover Reconstructive Surgery?

When determining a procedure’s eligibility for coverage, an insurance company assesses whether the procedure is elective or medically necessary. An elective procedure is generally cosmetic in nature, meaning that it is solely intended to improve your appearance. Most insurance carriers do not cover elective cosmetic procedures. A medically necessary procedure, on the other hand, is considered essential to diagnose or treat a medical problem that interferes with your health and ability to function. Most insurance carriers offer coverage for reconstructive surgery because it is regarded as medically necessary. However, coverage for specific procedures and levels of coverage can vary greatly between providers, so it is important to communicate with your insurance company to verify the benefits of your health plan.

Is Reconstructive Surgery Right For Me?

Reconstructive surgery can not only change how you look, function and feel, it can dramatically enhance your total quality of life. The type of reconstructive surgery that is appropriate for you depends on a number of factors, including the location and severity of the deformity or damage, your medical history, the need for any future treatments, your overall health and your personal preferences. Call the Celestial Institute of Plastic Surgery at 734-844-5700 to schedule a consultation. We are committed to providing comprehensive care for even the most complex reconstructive issues and look forward to discussing your options.