Dr Shraddha Deshpande

Plastic Surgery – Is It Vanity Or Sanity?

One of the major misconceptions is that Plastic surgery is equivalent to Aesthetic surgery, and it is meant for the elite few.

At the end of my usual day, I was waiting for the elevator. That day I had operated on a patient who was suffering with a non-healing ulcer on his leg for a long time, then followed up on my patient in ward suffering with bed sores and another patient with diabetic foot wound. Then I had operated on an emergency case of nail bed injury due to door crush and finally done a case of fillers for undereye hollowing in a young male. As I was waiting, a middle-aged gentleman asked me inquisitively, ‘I have heard that Plastic Surgery is not good for people, is this true?’

As I was just about to begin my explanation about what plastic surgery is, for the umpteenth time, my floor came and I got off the elevator. But that question kept lingering in my mind. Why is it that people find it so difficult to understand ‘what plastic surgery is?’

It was obvious. Unlike other specialties, where the name itself is indicative of the organ being operated, e.g., Cardiac Surgery is heart surgery, neurosurgery is brain and spine, the word ‘plastic surgery’ can be quite confusing. Plastic comes from the Greek word ‘Plastikos’ which means ‘to mold’. Thus, Plastic surgery is a specialty based on principles, and the ultimate goal here is to restore form and function. It is a versatile branch which may involve operating on any organ right from hair to toe nails.

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