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Operation Smile staff member Hal Rosenfeild begins reconstructive surgery for a cleft lip on a three-month-old infant aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) during a medical service project.
Reconstructive surgery is, in its broadest sense, the use of surgery to restore the form and function of the body; maxillo-facial surgeons, plastic surgeons and otolaryngologists do reconstructive surgery on faces after trauma and to reconstruct the head and neck after cancer.
Other branches of surgery (e.g., general surgery, gynecological surgery, pediatric surgery, cosmetic surgery, podiatric surgery) also perform some reconstructive procedures. The common feature is that the operation attempts to restore the anatomy or the function of the body part to normal.
Reconstructive plastic surgeons use the concept of a reconstructive ladder to manage increasingly complex wounds. This ranges from very simple techniques such as primary closure and dressings to more complex skin grafts, tissue expansion and free flaps.
Cosmetic surgery procedures include breast enhancement, reduction and lift, face lift, forehead lift, upper and lower eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), laser skin resurfacing (laser resurfacing), chemical peel, nose reshaping (rhinoplasty), reconstruction liposuction, nasal reconstruction using the paramedian flap, as well as tummy tuck (abdominoplasty).
Many of these procedures are constantly being improved.
In 2010 only 10 research papers were identified which looked at reconstructive surgery after massive weight loss.
Use of implants and biomaterials
Biomaterials are, in their simplest form, plastic implants used to correct or replace damaged body parts. Biomaterials were not used for reconstructive purposes until after World War II due to the new and improved technology and the tremendous need for the correction of damaged body parts that could replace transplantation. The process involves scientific and medical research to ensure that the biomaterials are biocompatible and that they can assume the mechanical and functioning roles of the components they are replacing.
A successful implantation can best be achieved by a team that understands not only the anatomical, physiological, biochemical, and pathological aspects of the problem, but also comprehends bioengineering. Cellular and tissue engineering is crucial to know for reconstructive procedures.
An overview on the standardization and control of biomedical devices has recently been gathered by D. G. Singleton. Papers have covered in depth the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Premarket Approval Process (J. L. Ely) and FDA regulations governing Class III devices. Two papers have described how the National Bureau of Standards, American Dental Association, National Institute of Dental Research, and private dental companies have collaborated in a number of important advances in dental materials, devices, and analytical systems.
- Gilmartin, J. (2011). "A critical literature review: the impact of reconstructive surgery following massive weight loss on patient quality of life". Journal of Nursing and Healthcare of Chronic Illnesses. 3 (3): 209–221. doi:10.1111/j.1752-9824.2011.01100.x.