Plastic Surgery at Apollo Hospitals
Plastic Surgery is at once familiar and vague in its scope. Most people associate it with Cosmetic Surgery, burns and may be bad wounds on the face. This is the ‘tip of the iceberg’.
Plastic surgery (named so because of the ability to ‘mould’ tissues) is in constant evolution. Our body has many soft tiussues. Skin, fat, muscles, nerves, blood vessels etc. Plastic surgeons have a keen understanding of the nature and behaviour of these tissues both when normal and injured. Building on the intense understanding of the structure of soft tissue, these structures can be manipulated to achieve results.
Cosmetic surgery is as much about understanding the cause of the concern of a visible flaw as it is about skill sets. Both require wisdom and experience in plenty. Delivering consistent results and ensuring client satisfaction is a challenge, each and every time.
Technology has been a great empowering agent. Limited to shifting tissue only based on available blood supply, the advent of microvascular tissue transfer changed everything. Almost any soft tissue and can be shifted from one place to another using advanced microscopes, incredibly thin threads and special skill sets. In major accidents with complex tissue loss, removal of tissues following cancer surgery etc, these techniques make life again liveable for the affected people. This has also enabled replantation of amputated parts and now hand transplant also.
The skill sets are of great use in a variety of areas : Diabetic foot, poorly healing ulcers, deformed hands, birth defects like cleft lip, post burn injury deformities, recurrent soft tissue infection etc.
Straddling the different strata of society, different organs in the body, helping enhance beauty, restoring function and embracing technology- Plastic surgery is a vital cog in the health system today.
Areas of Special Expertise
As the economy improves, this has become an area of increasing demand. Many people are unhappy with their appearance for a variety of reasons. The appearance of the Face ( eyes, nose, ears, lips etc) may not fit into their aspirations. They desire a change.
Cosmetic surgery consultations are different in that the surgeon needs to understand the concerns of the person and plan a procedure that will address the concerns. This requires a patience to listen, the ability to discern feasible requests, the experience to plan and the skill to execute.
The common requests are
Face: Rhinoplasty, Lip enhancement or reduction, correction of signs of ageing ( wrinkles around eyes or skin sagging)- Botox or surgical , correction of prominent ears, ear lobe hole refashioning, scar improvement, hair transplant etc.
Breasts; Enhancement ( before and after pregnancy), Breast reduction ( for heavy breasts causing discomfort), breast lift when the sagging is significant, reduction of male breasts .
Torso: Liposuction of fat, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), scar reduction, external genitalia modulation
Upper limbs: Scar reduction, tattoo removal, nail deformities, swellings, Liposuction of the arms
Lower limbs : Scar reduction, ingrowing toe nail, Thigh liposuction
Reconstructive Surgery for Major and Minor Trauma
A plastic surgeon is the default choice when someone suffers a facial injury. However, the same expertise can be limb saving also. When a large amount of tissue ( skin/ muscles/ arteries and nerves) are lost in accidents, the wounds need good initial care and a ‘reconstruction’. Plastic surgeons at Apollo are well equipped to shift or transfer tissue using an operating microscope and fine suture materials- large tissues can be moves across the body. People who have suffered injuries earlier and who have residual problems in terms of limb function, can also be helped. These may have been following injuries, cancer surgery or burn injuries. The same expertise can help people with bed sores too. Thus the Plastic surgery services are not just meant for beautification, but are also of great functional benefit too.
Cancers are nowadays being dealt with more vigorously. Early identification has meant better survival. However, even those who have survived the surgery and are disease free, are reminded about it by bodily deformities. In case these deformities are significant, plastic surgeons can help restore form to these areas. Breast reconstruction, cheek reconstruction etc are common needs. When quality of life is an issue, these procedures make a critical difference.
Surgery for Birth defects
Though unfortunate, there is always a chance that children will be born with visible birth defects. When these involve soft tissue and require surgery, Plastic surgery is at hand. Large hairy moles, Cleft of lip and Palate, prominent ears, unsightly bulges, blood vessesl tumours ( hemangiomas), hand anomalies ( extra or fused digits, trigger fingers etc). Treating these tender babies and comforting the anxious /distraught parents is a challenge that Plastic Surgery is ready for.
Hands have bones, joints,arteries, nerves,muscles, tendons, skin and nails. When there are injuries to the hands it is unlikely that only one structure is cut. It is also crucial that the injuries be diagnosed properly, treated appropriately and the recovery should be as fast as possible. Functional restoration is top priority in a world where not being able to use even one finger can be crippling. Plastic surgeons are trained to fix the small bones, repair tendons, microscopically repair nerves and arteries, close or shift skin to cover gaps and also try and save nails. It is a one point destination for all injuries that affect the part beyond the wrist. A one year fellowship in Hand and Microsurgery, equips our consultant to deal with this confidently.
When there is a spreading infection of soft tissues, that is not amenable to medications, surgery is called for. In the presence of diabetes and other issues, the need for an effective ‘cleaning’ ( debridement) is paramount. Plastic surgeons are comfortable removing large amounts of infected tissues as they are confident of being able to cover it also. The result is faster recovery. Especially on the face- where the area overlap ( eyes, nose, mouth etc) can mean some confusion, Plastic surgeons can deal with all these problems, in association with the medical team. Early wound cover, helps people recover faster, reduces hospital stay and costs and restores people to a normal life ealier.
Some of services available:
- Cosmetic Surgery – Face, Breast – Female and Male, Stomach, Body sculpturing,
- Hand Surgery- acute trauma, post trauma, birth defects, deformities
- Reconstructive surgery- major trauma, Post cancer surgery,
- Post burn reconstruction
- Function restoring limb surgery
- Pediatric external deformities
- Microvascular surgery- Tissue transfer, replantation, Microneurosurgery ( for peripheral nerves)