Reconstructive surgery performed to correct facial and body abnormalities

Reconstructive plastic surgery is often done to restore or improve function—to a hand, for instance. This surgery is also done to give you a more normal appearance. Unlike cosmetic plastic surgery, which is done to repair or reshape otherwise normal structures of the body to improve a patient's appearance and self-esteem, reconstructive plastic surgery is done to correct facial and body abnormalities.

There are some areas in plastic surgery that may be either or both reconstructive or cosmetic, depending on your situation. For example, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) may be a procedure done for cosmetic improvement, as well as to correct eyelids that are drooping severely and obscuring vision.

Abnormal structures of the body may result from:

  • Injury
  • Infection
  • Developmental abnormalities
  • Congenital (present at birth) defects
  • Disease
  • Tumors

Most commonly, reconstructive surgery is performed on people with congenital defects (including cleft lip, craniofacial anomalies, or hand deformities), or deformities due to an accident, infection, disease, or aging.

Depending on your reconstructive surgery needs, you may require multiple procedures done in several stages.

Possible complications associated with reconstructive plastic surgery

Any surgery carries some risk. People differ in their anatomy and their ability to heal. Depending on the type of surgery you have and your overall health, some complications and risks associated with reconstructive plastic surgery may include:

  • Infection
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Difficulty in wound healing
  • Anesthesia problems
  • Surgery problems

Risk of complications may increase if you:

  • Smoke
  • Have connective-tissue damage
  • Have skin damage from radiation therapy
  • Have decreased circulation at the surgery site
  • Have HIV
  • Have an impaired immune system
  • Have poor nutritional habits

There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your health care provider before the procedure.

To schedule an appointment with a specialist at Main Line Health, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (1.866.225.5654) or use our secure online appointment request form.