Cosmetic and plastic surgery have had their load of bad press but it’s not all about looks. Sometimes, they’re the only solutions to real medical problems and they can have a beneficial and often life-saving impact on a patient’s health. Performed in hospitals’ operating rooms under strict regulations, such plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures can be available on the NHS in the UK if they are done for health reasons and not solely to improve appearance.
1. Breast reduction
Breast reduction, also called ‘mammoplasty’ is required when breasts become too large and seriously impair someone’s living conditions. Women can be considered for breast reduction for purely cosmetic reasons when asymmetry or drooping occurs but in some mainly medical cases, a mammoplasty is required when true physical discomfort happens. Symptoms can include intense backache, neck pain and skin rashes under the breasts area and being unable to take part in sports and other daily activities.
Thousands of rhinoplasties are performed everyday around the globe to achieve that perfect look but a nose job can also save lives. Nose reshaping is necessary if someone has a breathing problem that requires an enlargement of the airways or a deviation of the septum. It can also be the only long-term solution in case of life-threatening obstructive sleep apnea, heart disease and hypertension.
Ear correction or pinnaplasty/otoplasty is an operation that reduces or changes the size of the ears. Invasive plastic surgery can be avoided at birth with the use of splints to help reshape the ears but there are no other options for adults. Otoplasty is deemed advisable or necessary when protruding ears are likely to cause real psychological distress. Psychological reports are necessary in order to assess the need for the operation and possibility to get funding from the NHS.
4. Craniofacial surgery
Craniofacial surgery is a reconstructive type of procedure that is required in the event of severe head injuries when facial reconstruction might be needed. Craniofacial surgery can involve moving of tissues and bone grafts and take up to twelve hours or more. It’s required in case of birth defects, head or face deformities caused by tumors and severe injuries such as in the event of a car or machinery related accident and burns. A psychological follow-up is necessary as facial disfigurement can cause acute psychological issues in patients.
Plastic surgery shouldn’t always be associated with vanity or good looks. There are countless accounts of how plastic surgery can actually save lives and is crucial to patients in order for them to get a normal life back. It’s important to stop trivialising cosmetic surgery and to keep on developing this field to change and improve the lives of patients who couldn’t do without it.