The word plastic is derived from the Greek word for mold or shape. Plastic surgery is a term used for operative manual or instrumental treatment. This surgery is performed for functional or aesthetic reasons. There are mainly two principal areas of plastic surgery.
Reconstructive surgery includes microsurgery and generally stresses on re-fixing or masking the negative effects of disease, trauma or surgery. It may include the disguise of defects with flaps or the moving of tissue from other parts of the body to the place where reconstruction has to be done. Breast reconstruction for those who have undergone mastectomy, cleft lip and palate surgery are common reconstructive surgeries. Sex reassignment surgery for transsexual people is also included in reconstructive surgery.
Cosmetic or aesthetic surgery is usually performed in order to improve the visual appeal and change the unflattering features. In exceptional cases, however, there are medical reasons for carrying out cosmetic surgery. This includes breast reduction that has to be done due to orthopedic problems.
Plastic surgery is subdivided further. Plastic surgery training and approval by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, includes mastery of other specific surgery. Craniofacial surgery involves the treatment of pediatric congenital defects, such as cleft lip and palate. Plastic surgeons receive full training in hand- surgery and some trainees decide to even complete an additional full-year hand fellowship, later.
Some people are addicted to cosmetic surgery and this results in body dysmorphic disorders. This disorder is however limited to the very wealthy because of the cost of cosmetic surgery. Some individuals are so besotted with their looks that they take loans for repeat procedures. Excessive and repeated cosmetic surgery can lead to irreversible damage to the body structure. It is generally found to be the indulgence of only the wealthy as such procedures are very exorbitantly priced and much beyond the reach of the common man.