When people think of plastic surgery, many immediately think of cosmetic surgery. However, there are a wide variety of plastic surgeries, many of which are reconstructive. Reconstructive surgeries are undertaken to repair tissue, prevent or minimize pain, or help minimize the damage done by severe burns or diseases. From cleft lip repair to burn repairs, here are five of the most common types of reconstructive surgery.

Cancer Removal

In some cases, a reconstructive surgery can be done to remove skin cancer. Being able to remove skin cancer in mole form before it spreads to the rest of the body is a positive thing. There are techniques that allow surgeons to remove these patches of cancer while still maintaining the look of human skin and also keeping the rest of the skin healthy. As a result of this surgery, many people can be saved.

Cleft Lip and Palate Repair

A Cleft Lip is something that can impact more than a person’s mouth. While there are varying degrees of cleft lips, sometimes they can stretch out to include a cleft palate. Altogether, these issues can cause a person to have trouble eating, speaking, hearing, and breathing. This surgery, therefore, looks to repair that damage and minimize the difficulties that someone has. Most often, this is a surgery performed on young children.

Burn Repair

Skin grafts or other similar surgeries are a form of regenerative medicine, which is the practice of replacing, engineering, or regenerating cells, tissues, or organs that are not working the way that that should be. Burn victims can be very common recipients of this surgery. In 2015, according to an article on The Monitor Daily, a surgeon was able to reconstruct the face of a burned firefighter from Mississippi. The firefighter had been through years of reconstructive surgeries but was still suffering from depression. The reconstructions had not been entirely successful. After an organ donor’s skin was donated, the firefighter was a recipient of a face transplant to repair his burns.

Foot and Hand

Another surgery that might seem cosmetic, these surgeries can help with a variety of issues. Not only can hand and foot reconstructive surgery help treat carpal tunnel, it can be a way to remove extra fingers and toes, remove webbing, and remove tumors. These are issues that can grow to cause problems if left untreated and involve some level of recreating a part of the body.

Breast Reduction

While this is also viewed as a cosmetic procedure, there are many health benefits to having breasts reduced. This procedure removes extra tissue, fat, and skin from the breasts of men and women to give them a more proportionate breast size. Since large breasts can cause back pain, this can be a procedure that many consider essential. This can also be used after a mastectomy.

Although there are many similarities between cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries, the biggest difference is the purpose of the procedure. While reconstructive surgeries can result in changes to appearances, they tend to be more focused on repairing people and minimizing health issues.

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