Plastic Surgeons Alabama is a surgical specialty, which changes the way a person’s body looks and feels. The term plastic derives from the Greek word “plastikos”, which means to mold or give form. There are two main types of plastic surgery. Reconstructive surgery is the surgical reconstruction of body defects due to trauma, burns, disease and birth defects. Cosmetic surgery is used to enhance a person’s appearance for purely aesthetic reasons. Cosmetic plastic surgery is performed on normal body parts to improve a patient’s self esteem and perception of attractiveness. Many patients seek a more youthful, renewed appearance. In cosmetic surgery, skin, fat and muscle are reshaped, tightened and repositioned to enhance and improve the patient’s physical appearance. Typical surgeries include breast augmentations, rhinoplasty (nose job) and face lifts. Cosmetic surgery can be subtle or extreme.

Reconstructive plastic surgery is performed on abnormal body parts resulting from infections, tumors, illnesses and other traumas. While cosmetic surgery is purely for appearance, reconstructive plastic surgery focuses on improving function, but can help with physical appearance as well. More than 1 million reconstructive surgeries are performed each year. Reconstructive surgeries generally fall into two categories. The first category involves patients with birth defects. The second category comprises patients with developmental deformities acquired from accidents, infection, or disease. Some examples of birth defects are cleft lip, webbed fingers and birthmarks. Acquired defects can range from burns from a fire to breast reconstruction as a result of breast cancer. Many times, reconstructive surgery can require multiple procedures.

Recovery from plastic surgery can be painful. Patients are advised not to take aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medications. Patients also should not smoke and should avoid exposure to secondhand smoke for 30 days before and after the surgery. Direct sunlight should be avoided and sunscreen should be used when sun exposure is inevitable. Many patients experience depression for the first few months following a cosmetic procedure. A combination of the medications used during and after the surgery can contribute to the depression. Financial stress and stress relating to fear of disfigurement or guilt about the procedure can play a role in depression as well.

Plastic surgery can be very expensive. Costs can be as low as $350 dollars for a Botox or collagen injection and as high as $7000 dollars or more for a face lift. Breast augmentations can cost as much as $4000 dollars and breast implant removal can be $2000 dollars. Many factors determine the cost. Physician experience, geographic location, lab costs, operating room costs and anesthesiologist costs all contribute to the overall cost of plastic surgery. Cosmetic surgery is usually not covered by insurance as it is not medically necessary. Reconstructive surgery can be fully or partially covered for specific procedures. There are many financing alternatives available through either the surgeon’s in house program or outside finance companies.

It is a common misconception that mainly older affluent Caucasian women get plastic surgery. Nowadays ethnic minorities account for more than 11% of all procedures. A majority of people seeking plastic surgery make less than $60,000 per year and are younger than age 50. In any case, plastic surgery is not a decision that is taken lightly. Most surgeons carefully prescreen patients before agreeing to complete a procedure, to determine if they will be able to handle the surgery physically and emotionally.

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