Reconstructive Plastic Surgery

Reconstructive surgery is performed to correct facial and body abnormalities caused by birth defects, trauma, disease, or aging. More than one million reconstructive surgeries are performed each year in the US.

Usually, the goal of reconstructive surgery is to improve body function. However, reconstructive surgery may also be performed to create a more normal appearance and improve self-esteem (this may also be called cosmetic surgery). Abnormal structures of the body may be caused by:

  • Trauma
  • Infection
  • Developmental abnormalities
  • Congenital defects
  • Disease
  • Tumors

Who are candidates for reconstructive surgery?

Generally, two types of patients have reconstructive surgery:

  • Patients with birth defects (such as cleft-lip, craniofacial anomalies, hand deformities, etc.)
  • Patients with developmental deformities (due to an accident, infection, disease, aging, etc.)

What are the possible complications associated with reconstructive surgery?

Any type of surgery carries some risk. Patients differ in their anatomy and their ability to heal. Some complications from reconstructive surgery may include:

  • Infection
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Bruising difficulty in wound healing
  • Anesthesia problems
  • Surgery problems

Risk of complications may increase if a patient:

  • Smokes
  • Has connective-tissue damage
  • Has skin damage from radiation therapy
  • Has decreased circulation at the surgery site
  • Has HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)
  • Has an impaired immune system
  • Has poor nutritional habits

For more information on the University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute Plastic Surgery or to make an appointment, please call 410-328-2360.