Plastic Surgery Techniques
There are many different techniques used to perform cosmetic and reconstructive plastic
surgery procedures, including the following:
Endoscopic surgery. Endoscopic surgery is performed with an endoscope, a tubular probe that has a tiny
camera and a bright light, which is inserted into a small incision (a small cut in
the skin). Images from the camera are transmitted back to a screen, which the surgeon
watches while manipulating the endoscope inside the body. The endoscope is a device
to assist the surgeon during surgical procedures. Instruments to actually perform
the surgery are inserted through a different incision(s). Large procedures can then
be done with minimal scars.
Flap surgery. Flap surgery involves moving healthy, live tissue from one location of the body to
another--often to areas that have lost skin, fat, muscle movement, and/or skeletal
support. There are several different types of flap surgery methods that may be used,
depending on the location of the flap and the structures that need to be repaired.
The types include the following:
Local flap. This is located next to the wound; the skin remains attached at one end so that the
blood supply is left intact.
Regional flap. This uses a section of tissue that is attached by a specific blood vessel.
Bone/soft tissue flap. This type of flap is often used when bone and the overlying skin are moved to a new
Musculocutaneous flap (muscle and skin flap). This type of flap is often used when the area to be covered needs more bulk and an
increased blood supply. This type of flap is often used to rebuild a breast following
Microvascular free flap. This involves detaching and reattaching skin and blood vessels from one site of the
body to another site. Microsurgery is used to attach the blood vessels.
Laser technology. Lasers used in plastic surgery often provide for minimal bleeding, bruising, and scarring.
There are many different types of lasers that may be used, depending on the purpose
and location of the surgery to be performed. Consult your doctor or surgeon to determine
if laser surgery, and which type, is most appropriate for you.
Skin grafts. A skin graft may be used to cover skin that has been damaged and/or is missing. This
surgical procedure involves removing healthy portions of skin from one part of the
body to restore normal appearance and/or function to another part of the same body.
The place where the skin is removed is called the donor site. There are several different
types of skin grafts that may be used, depending on the size and location of needed
skin. These include, but are not limited to, the following: