Plastic Surgery: A General Overview

One common misconception when it comes to plastic surgery is that the term “plastic” means artificial. The term is, in fact, derived from the prehistoric Greek term “plastikos,” which means “to give form or mold.” Plastic surgery is a special surgical procedure which aims to reconstruct the body tissue and correct facial defects brought about by congenital disorders, trauma, or illness.

Plastic surgeries improve and restore not just the body’s physical function, but also one’s physical appearance. It can involve surgical procedure done on any part of the body, except the central nervous system. Plastic surgeries can be done on the following:

  • Congenital defects such as cleft lip, cleft palate, and deformed ears
  • Maxillofacial or the facial skeleton
  • Skin, such as tattoo removal, birthmarks, burns, scars, and skin cancer

Physicians Who Perform Plastic Surgeries

It is essential for patients to choose physicians who have certification in plastic surgery by the ABPS or American Board of Plastic Surgery. In general, a physician who has a board certification in plastic surgery should have graduated from an approved medical school and have obtained at least 5 years of graduate medical education. This is typically 3 years of general surgery and another 2 years of plastic surgery. Furthermore, the surgeon must be practicing surgery for at least 2 years and satisfy comprehensive oral and written examinations to get a certification from the Board.

Which Procedures Do Plastic Surgeries Include?

Plastic surgeries include cosmetic (aesthetic) and reconstructive procedures:

  • Aesthetic or cosmetic surgery – This is done to reshape or repair otherwise normal physical features of the body, in general, to enhance one’s appearance. Following are some of the most prevalent cosmetic procedures:

-      Keloid removal

-      Liposuction

-      Resurfacing or laser skin rejuvenation

-      Brachioplasty or arm lift

-      Filler injections

-      Orthognathic surgery

-      Cheek augmentation

-      Genioplasty

-      Rhytidectomy or commonly known as facelift

-      Otoplasty or ear pinning

-      Rhinoplasty or nose job

-      Lip enhancement

-      Labiaplasty

-      Cryoneuromodulation

-      Crylipolysis

-      Chemical peel

-      Buttock augmentation

-      Mammoplasty

-      Phalloplasty

-      Blepharoplasty

-      Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck


  • Reconstructive surgery – This is generally done on defective structures of the body that may be brought about by the following:

-      Tumors

-      Disease

-      Congenital or birth defects

-      Developmental defects

-      Infection

-      Trauma

This particular kind of surgical procedure is done to enhance and/or improve function, although it may also be done to approximate a normal physical appearance.

In plastic surgeries, skin grafting or the transfer of skin tissue is a widespread procedure. The skin grafts can be obtained from donors or the recipient:

-      Xenografts are obtained from a donor of a varying species

-      Allografts are obtained from a donor of the same species

-      Autografts are obtained from the recipient. When there is deficiency or absence of natural tissue, substitutes can be grown on sheets of epithelial cells or artificial compounds including integra, which is composed of bovine tendon collagen and silicone with glycosaminoglycans.

In general, the best outcomes are expected from surgical procedures that underscore the careful planning of incisions.

By: Dr. Bush

Ronald Bush, MD

Director of Palm Springs Lipo Center Dr. Ronald Bush is board certified and has been providing patients with exceptional medical care for over 20 years. He performs a number of aesthetic procedures for those interested in optimizing and improving their appearance. Dr. Bush stays on the cutting edge of health and wellness and uses the latest technologies to provide optimal results for his clients.