PLASTIC SURGERY is a field of surgery dealing with the repair and reconstruction of various elements of the human body. The field takes its name from the Greek word plastikē, literally meaning “to shape or form.” The training of a Plastic Surgeon is complex with a five year General Surgery residency followed by a two year fellowship in Plastic Surgery. More recently, integrated training programs have emerged that are focused solely on Plastic Surgery.
Plastic Surgeons may focus upon reconstructive surgery such as cleft palate repair, skin grafting after burns or trauma, and breast reconstruction after mastectomy. They also provide a wide range of cosmetic procedures including rhinoplasty, face-lifts, scar revision, liposuction, abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”), and breast augmentation. Given the breadth of the specialty, many surgeons specialize in focused areas such as Craniofacial Plastic Surgery, Breast Surgery, and Congenital/Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. Cosmetic or Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons also utilize non-surgical procedures including Botox, laser skin therapy, chemical peels, and injectables such as Radiesse® and Juvederm®.
Litigation against Plastic Surgeons commonly involves allegations of incorrect surgical technique and undesirable cosmetic outcomes, as well as standard complications of surgery including bleeding, infection, and damage to adjacent structures.