What is Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is a medical speciality concerned with the “correction” or restoration of form and function.
In the term plastic surgery, the adjective plastic denotes sculpting or reshaping, which is derived from the Greek), plastikē   “the art of modelling “of malleable flesh.

Though cosmetic or aesthetic surgery is the best-known kind of plastic surgery, most plastic surgery is not cosmetic; plastic surgery includes many types of reconstructive surgery, hand surgery, microsurgery, and the treatment of burns.


Plastic surgery is a broad field, and may be subdivided further. Sub disciplines of plastic surgery may include:

Aesthetic Surgery

Aesthetic surgery is an essential component of plastic surgery and includes facial and body aesthetic surgery. This is performed on normal parts of the body with the only purpose of improving a person’s appearance and self-esteem and/or removing signs of aging .Plastic surgeons use cosmetic surgical principles in all reconstructive surgical procedures as well as isolated operations to improve overall appearance.  Breast augmentation, Breast lift, Breast reduction, Eyelid surgery, Face lift, Facial contouring, Nose surgery, Abdominoplasty, Liposuction etc.

Burn Surgery

Burn surgery generally takes place in two phases. Acute burn surgery is the treatment immediately after a burn. Reconstructive burn surgery takes place after the burn wounds have healed.

Craniofacial Surgery

Craniofacial surgery is divided into paediatric and adult craniofacial surgery.
Paediatric craniofacial surgery: mostly revolves around the treatment of congenital anomalies of the craniofacial skeleton and soft tissues, such as cleft lip and palate, craniosynostosis, and paediatric fractures.

Adult craniofacial surgery: deals mostly with fractures and secondary surgeries (such as orbital reconstruction) along with orthognathic surgery. Craniofacial surgery is an important part of all plastic surgery training programs, further training and subspecialisation is obtained via a craniofacial fellowship.

Hand Surgery

Hand surgery is concerned with acute injuries and chronic diseases of the hand and wrist, correction of congenital malformations of the upper extremities, and peripheral nerve problems (such as brachial plexus injuries or carpal tunnel syndrome). Hand surgery is an important part of training in plastic surgery, as well as microsurgery, which is necessary to replant an amputated extremity.

Microsurgery Surgery

Microsurgery is generally concerned with the reconstruction of missing tissues by transferring a piece of tissue to the reconstruction site and reconnecting blood vessels. Popular subspecialty areas are breast reconstruction, head and neck reconstruction, hand surgery/replantation, and brachial plexus surgery.

Paediatric Plastic Surgery

This includes treatment of birth defects or syndromes. Conditions commonly treated by paediatric plastic surgeons include craniofacial, cleft lip and palate and congenital hand deformities.