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Typically, the difference exists in the purpose of surgery. Cosmetic surgery performed with the primary goal of improving one's appearance. Reconstructive surgery is performed to improve personal health, body function or alleviate disease and is often considered medically necessary.
The line between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery can sometimes be blurred. Generally, reconstructive surgery improves both appearance and health . Some examples of reconstructive surgery include:
- Tumor Removal
- Laceration Repair
- Scar Revision
- Hand Surgery
- Breast Reduction
- Breast Reconstruction (Following surgical breast cancer treatment)
- Burn Care
- Reconstructive Rhinoplasty (to improve nose air flow)
- Eyelid Surgery (to improve field of vision)
Scarring is inevitable any time an incision is made, however, a very fine scar placed in the correct orientation may be virtually invisible. As a plastic surgeon, I have spent years mastering techniques to place scars in the most desirable locations, like areas hidden by undergarments or along natural creases. Scars will normally fade over time, but certain areas of the body such as the back and chest, produce more severe scarring regardless of the technique used for reconstruction and closure. The severity of the scarring varies from person to person since a large part of wound healing is based on genetics.
If I am scheduling an appointment for removal of a skin lesion, will this be done at my first visit?
In general, the first visit is a consultation for evaluating the area and deciding the best course of treatment. You need to have ample time to consider the risks of the surgery in order to make an informed decision about the treatment plan. Also, certain medications may need to be stopped before a procedure can safely be performed. Most in office procedures are scheduled within 2 weeks of the initial consultation.
Many procedures are covered by insurance plans, and it varies among different insurance companies and different policies. For elective cases, a letter and photographs will be submitted to your insurance company before procedures are done to determine coverage. Our office has extensive experience in submitting claims and troubleshooting insurance denials.
For office procedures like injections or small skin surgeries, I use topical and local anesthetics to numb the skin with very little discomfort. After the procedure, ice packs and Tylenol will be enough to keep you comfortable.
For more extensive procedures, oral pain medication will be given after surgery. Some surgeries require overnight hospitalization, and IV pain medication can be used to keep you comfortable. I also routinely provide nerve blocks at the time of surgery to minimize your discomfort afterward, and I offer pain pumps with local anesthetic that can be placed at the time of surgery and removed in the office.