Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery is a surgery discipline intended to eliminate congenital and acquired anomalies, deformation and dysfunctions, and improve the body image. The word "plastic" stems from the word "plasticos" in Greek, and it stands for "forming" or "molding". The word "reconstructive" is a Latin-based word, meaning "restoring".
Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery is interested in any surgical problem that manifest itself on the entire body surface. Any case that impairs a bodily shape and function might be congenital, traumatic or acquired. This surgical discipline covers congenital cases such as cleft palate/lip, syndactyl and vascular masses (including hemangioma), traumatic cases such as burns, facial injuries caused by car accidents, various laceration injuries and amputation, and acquired ones such as various skin and soft tissue tumors and chronic injuries. Plastic surgery also deals with bone (facial-head and hand bones in particular) and cartilage (ear and nose cartilages) losses, dysfunctions and pathological cases (tumor, cyst, infection etc.) In addition to conventional operations, microsurgery, laser systems, endoscopy and a variety of chemical agents and medicines can also be used.
Briefly, Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery repairs any defect that affects skin, subcutaneous tissue or bones. While doing so, the essential rule is to repair with similar ones if any tissue is lost.
Cosmetic surgery is a sub-specialty within the body of plastic surgery. Cosmetic surgery deals with procedures and interventions to make body image more beautiful and rid of imperfections. This is related to aesthetic problems rather than a medical ones. Media makes news more about aesthetic aspect of the plastic surgery and perhaps that is why people tend to think that plastic surgeons only perform cosmetic operations. However, plastic surgeons deal with reconstructive surgery more often in clinics.
All plastic surgeons undergo training in plastic surgery during their specialization studies, and they are the sole authorized surgeons to perform such operations. Cosmetic surgery requires a long-term training and experience. Such operations requires both surgical and artistic skills. Cosmetic surgery does not necessarily eliminate aesthetic problems. Sometimes it eliminates medical problems, too. For instance, it is imperative to perform both medical and cosmetic operations for an overweight body or gigantomastia. Apart from cosmetic improvement, the function of an organ is extremely important, too. For instance: Rhinoplasty (cosmetic nose surgery) eliminates deformation and breathing problems all at the same time.