What Is Reconstructive Plastic Surgery?

Reconstructive plastic surgery is performed to correct facial and body abnormalities caused by birth defects, trauma, disease, or aging.

More than one million reconstructive plastic surgeries are performed each year in the US. Usually, the goal of reconstructive plastic surgery is to improve body function. However, reconstructive plastic surgery may also be performed to create a more normal appearance and improve self-esteem (this may also be called cosmetic surgery).

Abnormal structures of the body may result from the following:

  • Trauma
  • Infection
  • Developmental abnormalities
  • Congenital (present at birth) anomalies
  • Disease
  • Tumors

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Who are candidates for reconstructive plastic surgery?

Generally, two types of patients have reconstructive plastic surgery, including the following:

  • Persons with congenital anomalies (including cleft lip, craniofacial anomalies, or hand deformities)
  • Persons with developmental deformities (including those due to an accident, infection, disease, or aging)