While there are some strong opinions about whether plastic surgery is medically necessary or purely for vanity, supporters of the practice insist that there are situations where going under the knife significantly improves an individual’s health and quality of life. Issues such as injuries, birth defects, and reconstructive surgery all require plastic surgery in order to bring about an optimal state of health. A secondary benefit of this surgery most likely involves improving one’s appearance, but the primary goal is to restore the health and quality of life of the patient.
There are several reasons why plastic surgery is deemed medically necessary. Cosmetic surgeons like Dr. Binder of Beverly Hills, while performing many procedures meant to improve appearance, also specialize in these medically justified surgeries These situations include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:
1. Craniofacial surgery
This type of plastic surgery involves reconstruction of one or more areas of the face, head, and neck. The most common corrections done are on cleft lips and palettes. A cleft palate can negatively impact a child’s ability to eat and swallow, and can also cause ear infections, hearing loss, and dental problems. Children born with a cleft lip or cleft palate also experience speech difficulties and have challenges with social and emotional issues at school. Corrective surgery is required to give these children a better quality of life.
2. Reconstructive surgery
Plastic surgery is often performed on those who have incurred an injury or illness which has deformed them in some way. Someone who has been disfigured or maimed in a car accident, one who has been bitten by a dog and has incurred scarring, and one who has sustained scarring of the skin due to a severe burn would all benefit from restorative and reconstructive surgery. Some of this may be considered cosmetic, but in reality, restoring the function of that area of the body to full capacity does wonders for self-esteem and confidence as well; two traits that are needed in order to successfully navigate through life.
3. Correction of a deviated septum
When a person is born with a deviated septum, it can cause difficulty with breathing, sinus infections, and heavy snoring that interferes with sleep. Correcting the functional issue of the nose is the primary concern; an added benefit is that any cosmetic correction achieved also aids in boosting self-esteem and mental/emotional health.
4. Breast reduction
Believe it or not, breast reduction is not only a cosmetic change; a person whose breasts are disproportionate to the rest of the body will experience difficulty with back pain, leg pain, and other physical challenges. Reducing the size and weight of breast tissue takes some much-needed pressure off the spine, the legs, and the back, leading to a more comfortable life and ease of mobility.
5. Breast reconstruction
Any woman who has had a mastectomy will tell you that the emotional toll that it takes is great, and the psychological impact that it has on her is significant. Having the option of breast reconstruction gives her a sense of well-being and a feeling of normalcy once more, despite the traumatic events that she has gone through. Sometimes all a patient wants to do is to achieve the feeling of being “normal” and this type of reconstructive surgery aids in doing just that.
6. Eyelid lifts
Eyelid lifts are not only cosmetic, but they also fix issues with eyesight that affect everyday life. Significant eyelid drooping can cause the skin of the eye to hang over the eyelashes and partially obstruct sight. This affects the ability to drive, to read, to use a computer, and to wear contact lenses. This type of surgery is medically necessary in order to restore sight and proper function of the eye; any cosmetic improvement that is experienced is secondary to the goal of corrected eyesight.
Anyone who has undergone reconstructive or corrective surgery is bound to share that their reasons for doing so were not to look better but to feel and heal better. With that in proper perspective, it seems that we need to take a more respectful look at the contributions plastic surgery makes to health and wellness of patients.