What is plastic surgery?
Plastic surgery mainly deals with the visible part of the body. It is its´goal zu recreate or amend bodyshape and visibly body disorders.
The Vier-Säulen-Modell (model of 4 pillars) proved value as structure model for the german societey for plastic, aesthetic and hand surgery. The roof of plastic surgery is held by the pillars : 1) reconstructive surgery ,2) hand-surgery, 3) aesthetic surgery and 4) burn –surgery. In the picture of a greek temple these 4 pillars stand on a base of research in plastic surgery. This represents the basis for the scientific development and future of our area of expertise.
The so called 4 „pillars“ have different specialization that are explained below:
For many people the daily look in to the mirror is also a look to their self-consciousness , their friend´s acceptance and their success at the job. A striking bump-nose, skin damages and annoying fat pads may be reason enough not to feel comfortable anymore. Patients visiting a plastic surgeon are generally not ill but not satisfied with their looks. This unsatisfaction can quickly turn into inferiority feeling and depressed mood with difficulties in managing daily life. Nowadays modern techniques of surgery allow correctures in almost every part of the body. The most frequent surgeries are still breast, nose and ear surgieries.
According to the variety of surgery possibilities, counselling of the patient is one oft he key procedures. For every surgery has it´s own risks generally the patient needs to be informed carefully about possible risks and prospects of success. Surgery can only lead to a better and positive coenaethesis when patients have realistic expectations.
Plastic and aesthetic surgery aims in harmonising looks. Correction of ears that stick out, too big breasts and treatment of deep folds of the face are main procedures. „Life-Style changes“ such as cat-eyes, celebrity noses or extraordinary big breasts are refused by respectable surgeons. Aesthetic-plastic procedures are widely done minimal invasive to produce no or only small scars. In general costs for plastic and aesthetic surgery are not defrayed by health insurance company. In case of medical comlications possible follow-up costs can be shared with you by your insurance company.
The hand represents only a small part of our body but it implies a lot of highly developed functions that enable mankind to incomparable manual, artistic, emotional and creative skills. This functionality is based on a perfect interaction of anatomic structures like bones, joints, muscles and tendons as well as nerves and blood vessels. This combination makes our hand a very complicated organ. In general hands act unprotected and are not covered like the face, except for some occasions, like in winter when we wear gloves. The location of our hands at the end of our arms is also of big importance because it offers mobility, distance from the rest of the body and makes it possible to recognize and avoid danger at an early stage. At the same time our hands are highly exposed and vulnerable. .
Hand-surgery as a special field of expertise
In order to have successful treatment it is absolutely necessary for the physician to know everything about the many different anatomic structures that are so important for functionality of hands. He has to be capable of treating changes in bones, muscles, nerves and vessels at the same time. In the middle of 20th century the field of hand-surgery evolved from the fields of general surgery, plastic surgery and orthopedics as a subspecialisation.
Role of plastic surgery
There´s a similarity in plastic surgery and hand surgery which is the surgery technique, that means to treat tissue with care- the so called atraumatic sugery technique. This aspect plays a much bigger role in hand treatment than in other parts of the body because of the location of blood vessels, nerves and tendons close to one another. Plastic surgery plays an import role in hand surgery according to set correct skin cuts or the various possibilities of tissue replacement, e.g. by skin-flaps or transplantation. With micro surgical techniques it is possible to reconstruct even fine and complex structures like nerves and blood vessels, replantation of digits as well as digit replacement by toe transfer. The field of activity in hand surgery also includes the whole arm itself because vessels, nerves and tendons run their way down to the hand.
Christopher Wachsmuth, M.D. and James H. Völpel both passed specialization of hand-surgery and are declared specialists on this field.
Reconstructive surgery comes to action when functionality and shape of body have to be reconstructed again. For example after accidents, cancer diseases or congenital malformation. Reconstructive surgery corrects skin, soft tissue, muscles ,tendons and peripheral nervs as well as bones and cartilage. It also brings back functionality of extremities as well as facial expression. Separated digits can be fixed and it is also possible to reconnect complex nerve tissue again by means of microsurgery. Cut nerve bundles can even be reconnected a long time after an accident has happened and then have the possibility of slow recovery. Even paralysis and loss of sensitivity can be treated succesfully by micro surgery and so called compensatory surgery.
Reconstruction of breasts
The field of reconstructive surgery also implies excisions of soft-tissue tumors as well as rather seldom sex change surgery. One of the most frequently procedures is breast reconstruction by autologous tissue, E.g. after breast cancer disease.
Burn surgery deals with the most delicate and biggest organ-our skin. Is skin burnt, scalded or hurt by electric shock, a painful healing process starts. While light skin damages heal slowly by themselves, severe burns need help by plastic surgery. In most cases the surgeon is dealing with emergency cases. He is stabilizing the blood circuit, giving analgetics and avoiding hypothermia. In addition superinfection of the burnt skin has to be avoided and in some cases skin transplantation is necessary. Besides of recreating motivity of arms, hands and digits the surgeon has also to deal with the aesthetic treatment. Stigmatising scars of visible parts of the body are exstirpated.
Do you have questions about burn surgery or do you wish a personal counselling interview ? Then don´t hesitate to contact us!
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