9 Nov 2018
The role of reconstructive surgery in the recovery process
In most cases injuries heal but people are often left with defects and cosmetic reminders of their accident. From car accidents where windscreen glass has caused cuts to the face or the impact has resulted in broken bones, to more complex accidents that can cause burn scarring, fractures and soft tissue injuries, Reconstructive Surgery can play a vital role in recovery.
What is the difference between reconstructive and cosmetic surgery?
A form of Plastic Surgery, Reconstructive Surgery is often confused with Cosmetic Surgery but, although they are similar, they serve two different purposes.
Reconstructive surgeries are medically necessary procedures carried out to restore and repair parts of the body that may have been affected by disease, trauma or birth defects. We have vast experience in facilitating these surgeries for people who have suffered disfigurement in some way as a result of an accident.
Procedures used in Reconstructive Surgery include:
• Skin Grafts
• Facial reconstruction
• Tissue Expansion
• Flap surgery
• Bone reconstruction
Cosmetic Surgeries are non-medically necessary and optional procedures that people choose to have to improve their physical appearance, e.g. breast augmentation is a cosmetic procedure carried out to change the shape or size, whereas breast reconstruction is carried out to completely replace the tissue removed.
A vital part of recovery
Life threatening injuries are the first priority for any surgeon, who will leave non-life threatening issues, such as facial disfigurement and severe scarring, untreated. Although the treatment of significant injuries, such as problems with airways, breathing, circulation and any other life-threatening results of an accident are of course the first priority, it is important not to overlook the effects that disfigurement and cosmetic deformities can have on a person and their self-esteem.
In some instances, Reconstructive Surgery can be carried out immediately following the accident but in other cases, due to more severe injuries or the need for diagnostic investigations, some people cannot receive reconstructive treatment for a long period of time.
It is believed that delayed treatments are not as successful as immediate treatments so it’s important, where possible, to arrange for surgery to take place straight away.
Reconstructive Surgery not only rebuilds the way the person looks but, more importantly, helps to rebuild their confidence and improve the way they live their life.
The lasting effects
Although Reconstructive Surgery may feel like the last hurdle, the injured person is often left with long-term mental challenges as they adjust to their new appearance and any lifestyle changes they may have been forced to make.
The most common effects of a dramatic and unexpected change to someone’s appearance are anxiety, stress and depression, which the injured person may require more support to overcome. Our experts will recognise these needs and make further recommendations where necessary for psychological evaluations and treatments.
How can we help?
With our extensive panel of medical experts spanning numerous specialisms we can assist with your client’s requirements no matter how obscure or unusual. With a dedicated Complex Case team on hand, we can react quickly and recommend the best course of action for your client following their accident.
To find out more about how our Rehabilitation services can help you, contact us today.