Reconstructive surgery is a medical intervention strategy to rectify defects in the body caused by ageing, injury, infections, congenital anomalies and tumours. The surgery aims to improve the form and function of any body part, from toe to the head, in kids, adults and elderly.
Reconstructive surgery is mistaken for plastic surgery but they are two different disciplines. The former restores the function of a body part while the latter is about achieving aesthetics. In fact, most cosmetic surgery procedures performed in India are reconstructive.
Individuals with craniofacial deformities, cleft lip, hand abnormalities, and other defects present at the birth are ideal candidates for reconstructive surgeries. The procedure is now the mainstay of cancer care, helping oncologists to treat malignancies with more precision.
The procedure involves multiple reconstructive techniques to remedy the damaged body part. The commonest technique is the “free flap surgery,” a micro-vascular approach entailing a tissue transplant from one part of the body to the damaged part. The surgeon determines the donor organ depending on the damaged part. For instance, a suitable bone from the leg may be transplanted in a jawbone deformed by trauma to restore its function and form. Usually, the blood vessels are connected to the recipient site with tiny stitches visible only with a microscope.
With technological headways, transplants are now giving way to biomaterials. These are specialized plastic materials implanted to the defected body part to enable it to function the way it should. Biomaterials are compatible with the human body and effectively adapts to the role of the body components they substitute. The biomaterial implantation requires the highest level of skills and understanding of bioengineering, along with the anatomical aspect of the issue.
Reconstructive surgeries come in all shapes and sizes to streamline any disfigured, damaged and defected part and help the patient to lead a normal or near-normal life. These include:
Reconstructive surgery is an individualized intervention strategy. The surgeon factors in your medical history, the extent of the damage, recommendation for cancer treatment and personal inclination. The treatment plan is implemented on medical necessity after thorough diagnosis.
Reconstructive surgery can be unnerving for the patient, more so in lack of knowledge. So, it’s important to beef up your knowledge on what to expect before, during and after the surgery.