We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Reconstructive Plastic Surgery?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Reconstructive plastic surgery is a form of plastic surgery which is performed with the purpose of normalizing a patient's appearance. It may be used to modify or repair congenital birth defects such as cleft lips and palates, or to help a patient recover from a catastrophic accident or injury. In some cases, reconstructive plastic surgery is purely cosmetic in nature, with the goal of making the patient feel more comfortable in society, while in other instances, it may be medically necessary.

Doctors who pursue plastic surgery as a career can often perform both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, but they may choose to focus on one or the other. The two disciplines are markedly different, with reconstructive plastic surgery sometimes placing high demands on the surgeon. In the case of a patient with severely deformed facial structures, for example, the doctor may need to essentially rebuild the face, developing special techniques along the way to address the patient's individual case.

In the case of people with birth defects, reconstructive plastic surgery is often performed routinely in the West, which means that birth defects are usually corrected in young childhood, and it is unusual to see an adult with severe correctable physical birth defects. In other regions of the world, the technology or funds for reconstructive plastic surgery may not be available, and adults with visible birth defects are more common. Several charitable organizations travel to developing nations with teams of skilled surgeons who perform reconstructive plastic surgery for free to improve quality of life for people with birth defects.

Patients who have experienced accidents, severe injuries, and other incidents may require reconstructive plastic surgery for comfort and part of their recovery. Patients with severe burns, for example, often need reconstructive plastic surgery on their faces and extremities to normalize their appearance and to restore some functions to their bodies. Reconstructive plastic surgery may also be used for things like restoring the appearance of breasts after a mastectomy, allowing breast cancer patients the option to replace their missing breasts.

Most reconstructive procedures are elective, which means that the patient and doctor schedule them ahead of time. However, reconstructive surgeons must also be able to work in emergency situations. Oculoplastics specialists, for example, may be called in to reconstruct the eye socket after someone has experienced severe eye trauma. Rapid action by a reconstructive plastic surgeon can limit scarring and promote rapid healing, with many surgeons preferring to work as quickly as possible, before the body has had a chance to severely scar around the site of a catastrophic injury.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.