Types of Reconstructive Surgery
Reconstructive surgery refers to plastic surgery procedures performed on abnormal body structures in order to correct or improve function or approximate a normal appearance. Reconstructive surgery may be used to treat congenital defects as well as developmental deformities. There are many different types of facial reconstructive procedures, including the following:
- Cancer Reconstruction. Facial cancer defects may be repaired with a variety of techniques including the use of adjacent healthy skin flaps or grafts as well as free tissue transfer.
- Cleft Lip Repair. Cleft lip birth defects may be corrected through surgery in order to repair nostril asymmetry and lip deformity. This is often performed at the early age of three to six months.
- Cleft Palate Repair. Cleft palate birth defects may be corrected through surgery, repairing the cleft as well as the roof of the mouth. This procedure is often performed around the age of nine to twelve months.
- Facial Paralysis. Facial deformities caused by facial paralysis may be improved through a variety of surgical means, with the ultimate goal being the improvement of facial symmetry and restoration of facial animation.
- Facial Trauma Reconstruction. Facial trauma reconstruction is performed to correct facial fractures and/or facial lacerations which may have occurred from motor vehicle accidents, fights, domestic violence, animal bites, and the like. Surgery can correct fractures of the jawbone, cheekbone, eye socket and brow as well as lacerations resulting in scarring, facial nerve damage, tear duct injury, and loss of body part.
- Microtia Repair. Microtia repair is the surgical correction of a missing ear. This is a congenital defect which may be treated by creating an ear with rib cartilage and molding an ear lobe and crease.
- Scar Revision. Scar revision involves a variety of techniques designed to camouflage facial scars resulting from accident, surgery, burn or acne. Techniques may include surgery like surgical removal of scar tissue, skin flap surgery, skin grafts and Z-plasty, as well as skin resurfacing procedures like dermabrasion and laser resurfacing.
Reconstructive Surgery FAQs
Q-What is reconstructive surgery?
A-Reconstructive surgery refers to plastic surgery procedures which are designed to improve function and sometimes approximate a normal appearance of abnormal structures of the body. There are many different types of reconstructive surgery and they may be used to treat both congenital defects and developmental deformities.
Q-Is reconstructive surgery right for me?
A-If you are looking to improve the function or appearance of a congenital or developmental defect, then reconstructive surgery may be right for you. As with all surgery, patients should be physically healthy and realistic in their expectations. Dr. Donath is happy to meet with you for a consultation to help you decide if reconstructive surgery can best address your needs.
Q-What happens at the consultation for reconstructive surgery?
A- During the consultation for reconstructive surgery, Dr. Donath will meet with you to conduct a routine examination, discuss your goals, and take a thorough medical history. He will weigh other factors like age, skin type and attitude toward surgery to help determine if reconstructive surgery is right for you. He will explain the intended procedure including the technique, the anesthesia, the surgical facility, the risks and the costs. The doctor will be sure to also answer any questions or concerns that you may have.
Q-What is a congenital defect?
A- A congenital deformity is one which is present at birth, basically a birth defect. Examples of birth defects include cleft lip, cleft palate, birthmarks, webbed fingers and abnormal breast development.
Q-What is a development deformity?
A-A developmental deformity is one which occurs as a result of accident or injury, disease, infection or sometimes aging. Examples of developmental deformities include burn wounds, growth, and lacerations.
Q-What is cancer reconstruction?
A-Cancer reconstruction is a reconstructive surgery procedure designed to repair facial cancer defects. There are a variety of different techniques which may be used including skin flap, skin grafts and free tissue transfer.
Q-What is cleft lip repair?
A-Cleft lip repair is a reconstructive surgery which corrects cleft lip birth defects. This surgery repairs both nostril asymmetry and lip deformity.
Q-What is cleft palate repair?
A-Cleft palate repair is a reconstructive surgery which corrects cleft palate birth defects. This surgery repairs both the cleft and the roof of the mouth.
Q-What is facial paralysis repair?
A-Facial paralysis repair is a reconstructive surgery which can improve facial deformities caused by facial paralysis. A variety of surgical means may be used to improve facial symmetry and restore facial animation.
Q-What is facial trauma reconstruction?
A-Facial trauma reconstruction is a reconstructive surgery which can correct facial fractures and/or facial lacerations occurring through accidents, injury, animal bites and the like.
Q-What is microtia repair?
A-Microtia repair is a reconstructive surgery which can replace a missing ear. The surgery creates a new ear with the use of rib cartilage.
Q-What is scar revision?
A-Scar revision involves a variety of reconstructive techniques which can camouflage and improve the appearance of facial scars. Many different techniques can be used including surgery and skin resurfacing.