In our final post on modern medicine we will discuss the medicine and the new technologies used in plastic surgery. Plastic surgery is not just for aesthetics. Oftentimes plastic surgery is necessary after an accident such as a car crash or when someone experiences burns from a fire, but it is important to differentiate these two types of plastic surgery as one is elective and one is arguably extremely necessary. There are many plastic surgeons who only work in reconstructive and therapeutic surgery in order to help people restore the book of their former face or even to have them restore the book of their body or any service at all in the case of an extreme accident. This sort of emergency plastic surgery is different from elective surgery in that it is very necessary for the patient to have it done possibly so the injuries heal correctly where is if it is left untreated then they will have an open area and perhaps look very grotesque.
Patients who do not have plastic surgery after major accidents or after major burns often suffer severe depression because of the change and how they look. This sort of plastic surgery is different from elective plastic surgery and it is important that we differentiate the two before moving forward. The doctors who do this sort of therapeutic plastic surgery are heroes in my mind and are responsible for restoring some semblance of normalcy to someone’s life after a catastrophe has occurred to them. These doctors will often work in war zones where people are experiencing catastrophes from war like Burns and shrapnel and explosions that they are surviving.
There is an operation that goes to war zones with the Red Cross to work with civilians to help restore their faces after they have experienced a bombing or are burned from shelling or bullets. This is often part of the Red Cross and these doctors work for little or no pay simply for the greater good to help those who are in need. There also plastic surgeons who work strictly for the US Army and their whole responsibility is to help return the soldiers again back to some level of normalcy with how they look and their face so they can return to their families and their home life without horrible disfigurement.
These doctors often work for much less and earn a lot less than aesthetic plastic surgeons working in major cities. In my mind this makes them heroes just as much as the doctors who are creating prosthetics for veterans returning from war or the doctors that seal up the bullet holes when they return from battle. This sort of plastic surgery is not frivolous and deserves a place of honor for those that choose this path.
The past for those who want to get into the plastic surgery field requires the same set of pre qualifications that any doctor requires. First you need to major in a science as an undergraduate and get a Bachelor of Science with adequate grades to qualify for medical school. Then you must apply and get accepted to a medical school and graduate hopefully with this as your idea of major. Then you need to do your residency as well just like any other family doctor. However being a plastic surgeon is not the same as simply being a heart surgeon or a gastrointestinal surgeon. All surgeons need a lot of experience and a steady hand and a working knowledge of anatomy and what they are doing. But a plastic surgeon also need something more. Thank you for following along on our adventure through modern medicine.