Plastic surgery is a plastic surgery specialty involving the correction, restoration, or modification of the body. It is often divided into two areas: plastic surgery for corrective purposes, and elective plastic surgery. corrective procedures involve treating or correcting birth defects, traumatic injuries, burns, cleft lip/palate, wrinkles, acne, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, and numerous other conditions.
Cosmetic procedures are used to improve a person’s appearance. This includes breast augmentation, weight loss surgery, rhinoplasty, liposuction, rhytidectomy, and countless others. In reconstructive plastic surgery, patients are generally repairing or restoring bodily tissue that has been affected by diseases or accidents. Common procedures include skin tissue grafts, facial plastic surgery, tissue expansion and reduction, breast reconstruction, and nose surgery.
Most plastic surgeons belong to one of two organizations, known as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgeons. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons was formed in 1974 to promote education and awareness of plastic surgery among surgeons, medical professionals, and patients. Members are recognized for their superior skills in their respective fields. Members must renew their membership yearly, while new members are accepted after making an application for membership. The American Society of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgeons actively encourages cross-practice cooperation and fellowship amongst plastic surgeons from different specialties. They also provide opportunities for training, education, and research.
While practicing in the United States, plastic surgeons are required by law to take continuing education courses every two four years. These courses are administered by either the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) or the American Society of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASFS). Both of these organizations provide certification to their practitioners upon successful completion of their continuing education requirements. The ASFS is the regulatory authority for the field of aesthetic surgery in the United States. ASFS certification is currently available to certified plastic surgeons practicing in the United States and may be accepted by other countries.
In terms of burn scars, the United States has several of the most innovative surgical specialty programs in the world. Dr. Richard T. Miller, a burns specialist at the Center for Laser Medicine and Infrared Biofunctional Therapy at the University of California – Los Angeles, is recognized as one of the leading burn specialists in the country. Dr. Miller is also recognized as one of the world’s top burns specialists. He has created a fellowship in thermal laser therapy that is offered to medical students and is currently recruiting world-class plastic surgeons.
Many of the latest plastic surgery procedures are being used to improve aesthetic function and eliminate debilitating side effects. Advancements in aesthetic medicine and reconstructive techniques continue to make our lives better. It should not be considered a choice between treatments; rather we should promote overall health and wellbeing. Research and experimentation should be a shared responsibility between patients and their doctors. Our only limit is our own imagination. Our medical system can offer great improvements to our way of life.