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Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery

Updated on November 21, 2011

Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery

The term “plastic surgery” derives from Greek, in which the word plastikos means malleable*. It refers to a field of surgery which divides into two halves: cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.

Cosmetic surgery focuses on the improvement of the appearance of parts of the body. The problem to be addressed by cosmetic surgery may be congenital (eg cleft palate) or it may be acquired (eg trauma, burns, cancer radical surgery).

Reconstructive surgery also has the task of restoring damaged areas of the body to their original state (eg hand surgery after an industrial accident).

The benefits of plastic surgery are not limited to the aesthetically pleasing appearance of the result. It is important not to overlook the psychological effects of cosmetic surgery: improved self-esteem, greater self-confidence. Following cosmetic surgery people can find that the prior feeling of embarrassment is removed and personal relationships improve. Another consequence is that new career opportunities may present themselves more numerous. Hence the surgical correction of obvious cosmetic flaws allows the person to flourish without the rear of rejection.

The risks involved in undergoing a plastic surgery are related to invasiveness of the procedure. Inevitably after an invasive procedure there is some discomfort, which varies from individual to individual. It is therefore important that before undergoing cosmetic surgery the patient has a thorough interview with the surgeon, who will inform him or her in detail about the problems that may arise in relation to the size of the defect to be corrected and the patient's medical history.

It will be the plastic surgeon together with the person who wishes to change his or her appearance who choose the appropriate course of action to achieve the best possible result.

The fact that the scars may be noted, finally, should not create concern because they are hidden along the natural folds of the skin, so that the end result is perfectly balanced and natural.

Note: the equivalent terms in Italian are “chirurgia plastica” or “chirurgia estetica”.

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