What Does Reconstructive Surgery Do?
Although the cells and tissues in our body have the natural capacity to repair itself after sustaining damage, some forms of trauma and diseases leave lasting effects that can compromise our overall appearance. Deep wounds and major surgeries, for example, can result in unsightly scars that aren’t always possible to cover up.
On more extreme cases, particular types of medical conditions affect not only the skin but also the underlying muscles and nerves. Tumors, infections, stroke, and Bell’s palsy can cause facial paralysis which leads to unmissable deformities.
Reconstructive surgery is a medical procedure that aims to rebuild compromised structures of the body and restore their functionality and aesthetic appeal. While the need for the operation is not a matter of life and death, undergoing reconstructive surgery improves the quality of one’s life substantially. Patients can further themselves in their relationships and careers, as well as nurture their mental well-being and regain their self-esteem.
What are the Different Types of Reconstructive Surgery?
Due to medical and technological advancements, numerous kinds of concerns can now be addressed by targeted reconstructive surgeries such as the following:
When damage from injuries or illness is severe enough to reach the nerves, affected regions of the face are rendered incapacitated and lose their ability to perform normal functions. The damage becomes problematic as it hinders speech, blinking, swallowing, and forming facial expressions.
Facial paralysis surgery, also known as facial reanimation, makes use of microsurgical techniques to transfer healthy muscles onto immobile areas. This procedure may involve a gracilis muscle transplant, wherein the needed tissues are extracted from the inner thigh and incorporated on the face. In other cases, surgeons opt to reroute nerves to help paralyzed areas regain function. Muscle transplants and nerve rerouting can be used in conjunction with one another for more severe conditions.
The MOHS micrographic surgery for skin cancer is a relatively new technique that aims to treat basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) -- two of the most common types of skin cancer in the world. This procedure involves progressively removing horizontal layers of the skin to save as much healthy skin cells as possible while examining each extracted segment for signs of skin cancer. Because surgeons get to immediately verify whether or not all traces of malignant cells were excised, the MOHS surgery not only gives the best aesthetic results but also significantly reduces the risk of recurrence.
The highly technical and precise extractions involved in MOHS micrographic surgery are especially beneficial to patients whose skin cancer is situated along delicate parts of the body such as on the eyelids, lips, or nose.
A scar revision surgery is a cosmetic procedure that minimizes scars and makes them look less conspicuous and unflattering. It involves meticulously blending disfigured tissues with the surrounding healthy skin in terms of both texture and tone. A surgeon may use multiple treatments ranging from injectables, chemical peels, to skin bleaching agents to blend them perfectly. Dermabrasion, or the mechanical refinement of skin, as well as laser or light therapy, may also be used depending on the type of scar present.
Steps Toward Dermal Reconstruction
Although reconstructive surgeries are not as invasive as other medical procedures, proper protocol must still be followed before, during, and after the operation.
The Initial Consultation
An initial consultation with your physician gives you the opportunity to express the goals you want to achieve after undergoing the procedure. By doing so, you help your surgeon evaluate your condition, plan the operation strategically and according to your specified needs and expectations. Preliminary physical examinations are also held during this time, as well as a thorough interview to obtain your medical history.
Your doctor may ask you to cut down on specific activities, food, or medications before undergoing the procedure to ensure that your body would be able to handle the reconstructive surgery without triggering preventable complications. At this stage, you will be subject to more comprehensive medical examinations to minimize any form of risk. You will also most likely be advised to schedule the procedure at a time in which you can take at least a few days off after going under the knife.
Reconstructive surgery may span from minimally invasive to invasive procedures depending on the kind of operation you want to be done. Minor treatments include the use of injectables and chemical peels as in scar revisions, while muscle transplants and skin extractions are required in facial paralysis surgery and MOHS surgery for skin cancer. All forms of reconstructive surgeries offered by Dr. Sedgh are usually done as an outpatient procedure, thereby giving you the liberty to recover at the comfort of your home immediately after the operation.
The Recovery Process
Some forms of discomfort are to be expected after any procedure. Patients may experience swelling, redness, and even numbness around the surgical site. To relieve such aftereffects, you can ask your doctor for appropriate pain medications and have him list down more accessible home remedies such as using ice packs or hot compresses.
If the pain becomes unbearable or lasts for more than two weeks, remember to call the attention of your plastic surgeon. Going for a follow-up check-up should also be done if you notice fluid build-up and unpleasant odors coming from the site of operation.
How to Maintain the Results of a Reconstructive Surgery
Lifestyle changes must also take place to maximize the effects of reconstructive surgery. Vices such as smoking must be toned down, if not eliminated. A deliberate choice to practice skin care regimens and to eat healthily will also help in the longevity of your newly reconstructed skin.
Why Should You Choose Dr. Sedgh?
Dr. Jacob Sedgh, M.D. is a facial surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – the gold standard in certification. With many years of experience both in the theoretical and practical applications of the field, Dr. Sedgh is capable of executing very technical procedures for highly specific demands to perfection. Today, his expertise is made available for you in Southern California.