Uncovering the Truth About Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is not just about appearance, but it’s also about the form and function in that particular part of the body. From a reconstructive standpoint, plastic surgeons get a person back to their pre-trauma or pre-injury state.

“The word ‘plastics’ comes from the Greek word plastico, which means‚ to mold‚ or ‘to shape,’ and that‚ basically what we do. We mold or shape each part of the body.”
I like to think of plastic surgery as having two different arms. There’s the reconstructive arm and there’s the cosmetic arm.
  1. Under the reconstructive arm, there are times we need to do a surgery as soon as possible. Those are typically patients who are in the emergency department, who may have been in a bad accident like a motor vehicle crash or a severe fall. In those cases, I come to the hospital right away and take care of them.
  2. But there are also reconstructions that don’t have to be done immediately. For example, if someone has had a lesion on their skin for quite some time, I see them in my office first and determine if it’s cancer or not. If it is cancer, I set them up with an appointment in the operating room. Another example would be someone who’s had chronic hand pain, which might turn out to be carpel tunnel. Typically, carpel tunnel would be operated on within a couple of weeks, as it’s not something that usually must be done right away.

At Trinity Health System, I’m involved with several different plastic surgery programs.

    • One is the breast program, in which breast cancer patients can have immediate reconstruction after a mastectomy.
    • I also perform plastic surgery on children, so I work closely with a lot of the pediatricians in the area for little lumps and bumps, skin lesions and injuries. A lot of times, parents will come to the emergency room and request that a plastic surgeon fix up their little loved one so their child won’t have a lifelong scar.
Whether cosmetic or reconstructive, my job is to first educate patients as to which plastic surgery I think would best benefit them. Then, they make the final decision, and I continue to help them all the way through their recovery.