Since its inception, plastic surgery has earned a reputation as being a glamorous, but in some cases unnecessary, form of surgery. But while it is true that the field became a household name by being associated with socialites and celebrities, the procedures themselves are often more necessary than most people realize – even for elective surgeries.
After all, an abdominoplasty may not be a life-or-death operation, but the improved self-esteem of the patient can be life changing. Not to mention the fact that excess weight that sits on the abdomen increases your risk of heart attack, heart disease, cancer and even stroke. In fact, a 2008 health study titled “The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)” found that each 2-inch increase in waist circumference increases risk of death by 13 percent in women and 17 percent in men!
But aside from removing body fat, there are many practical uses for plastic surgery that you may not even realize are possible. Keep reading to learn more about this fascinating field.
Scars can be caused by many things, from cuts to burns to incisions from prior surgeries. But don’t think that just because you have a scar you’re “scarred for life.” That’s because plastic surgery can often fix or revise many existing scars from a variety of different causes. With scar revision, there are even options regarding how best to correct the damaged tissue, from surgical to laser-assisted. Though there is no way to completely remove a scar, scar revision can greatly reduce the appearance of scars. Results can vary from a simple lightening to a more seamless blending with the surrounding skin.
Breast implants may not seem like they’re a necessity, but to women who have had a mastectomy due to breast cancer, breast implants can make a world of difference toward improving morale and self-esteem. In fact, this boost in morale can often help speed up the healing time of patients recovering from surgery or illness.
According to the American Cancer Society, 87,110 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed this year, and another 5.4 million Americans will be treated for cases of non-melanoma skin cancer. Unfortunately, treating skin cancer often means cutting the cancerous tissue out of the skin. In some cases, the affected area is small enough that it doesn’t leave much of a scar, or it’s in an area of the skin that is not visible or problematic to the patient. But in many other cases, especially on the face, removing skin cancer can leave a very obvious area of scar tissue. In these types of situations, some patients opt to have their skin cancer removed by a plastic surgeon. This not only ensures the cancer is removed, but also that the wound heals in such a way as to minimize scarring and blend in the best it can with the surrounding skin.
For patients who have suffered burns severe enough to cause scarring, plastic surgery can sometimes be an effective solution. The look and feel of the skin can often be improved by skin grafts, tissue expansion, free-flap procedures or even microsurgical procedures, helping these patients heal both physically and emotionally.
Yes, you can get a blepharoplasty (or eyelid lift) for strictly cosmetic purposes, but you can also get them for medical purposes too. As we age, the fat pads in our faces shift, causing our eyelids to become heavy and droopy. This can not only make us look and feel older and more tired, but can also restrict our vision, making everyday activities like driving extremely dangerous. If your vision or peripheral vision has become restricted due to sagging eyelids, an eyelid lift may be an effective solution – and it may even be covered by your medical insurance.
To learn more about the many ways plastic surgeons are making improvements in patients’ lives through surgery, please give Dr. Chau’s office a call at 888-966-9471.