There are two main components of Plastic Surgery:
- Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
- Reconstructive Plastic Surgery
Although you may hear people talk mostly about cosmetic plastic surgery, the majority of plastic surgery undertaken is reconstructive, with plastic surgeons tackling all aspects of wound healing and reconstruction needed by patients who have problems which they may have been born with, acquired or suffered through traumatic injury. Aesthetic plastic surgery plays a smaller but nevertheless important part in the role of the plastic surgeon – experience gained in reconstructive plastic surgery techniques often informs the practice of aesthetic plastic surgery. Equally, skills acquired doing aesthetic work on form and appearance aids the surgeon when carrying out reconstruction.
Plastic surgeons tend to have their particular areas of specialisation, however they will usually also be on-call to help with emergency admissions as they arise – dealing with all kinds of soft tissue injuries, limb injuries and burns. Plastic surgeons often support the work of other surgeons, helping with healing complex wounds from accidents and other surgical procedures and the reconstructive work which is often required following major operations.
Modern plastic surgery combines a variety of surgical skills and techniques and plastic surgeons work closely with a wide range of teams and medical professionals from other disciplines both within and outside the NHS and internationally.