University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute
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Programs and Services

Plastic Surgery

About the Plastic Surgery Program

 

For More Information

To learn more about Kernan Plastic Surgery or to make an appointment, please call 410-328-2360.

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Services provided at Kernan Hospital and at the University of Maryland Medical Center include:

  • Skin cancer resection
  • Facial/nasal reconstruction
  • Cleft lip/palate
  • Wound management
  • Burns
  • Fat injections for depressed scars
  • General reconstruction
  • Facial rejevenation
  • Body sculpting (liposuction, tummy tuck)
  • Breast cosmetic surgery (enlargement, reduction, reconstruction)
  • Hair transplant
  • Repairing ear lobes
  • Scar revision

What is plastic surgery?

It is a popular misconception that the word plastic in plastic surgery means artificial. Actually, the word is derived from the ancient Greek word plastikos, which means "to mold or give form."

Plastic surgery is a surgical specialty involved with the reconstruction of facial and body tissue defects due to illness, trauma, or birth disorders.

Plastic surgery restores and improves function, as well as appearance. It can involve surgery on any portion of the anatomy, except the central nervous system. Portions of the body that can be improved by plastic surgery include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Skin (including skin cancer, scars, burns, birthmarks, tattoo removal, etc.)
  • Maxillofacial (the facial skeleton)
  • Congenital deformities (including deformed ears, abnormal breast development, cleft palate, cleft lip deformities, etc.)

Physicians who perform plastic surgery:

It is important for patients to select physicians who are certified in plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Generally, a surgeon who is board-certified in plastic surgery has graduated from an accredited medical school and has completed at least five years of graduate medical education -- usually three years of general surgery and two years of plastic surgery.

In addition, the surgeon must practice plastic surgery for two years and pass comprehensive written and oral examinations to become board-certified.

More information is available about Kernan's plastic surgeons.

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

Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

Cosmetic plastic surgery is performed in order to change one's appearance. For some, it may mean the redesign of the body's contour and shape, the elimination of wrinkles, or the elimination balding areas. Others may choose varicose vein treatment or breast augmentation.

There are a number of cosmetic surgery procedures that men and women can choose from in order to create an image that makes them feel more confident and comfortable with their appearance. Health insurance rarely covers the cost of cosmetic procedures. However, Kernan Hospital provides competitive rates to the growing number of individuals deciding to undergo cosmetic plastic surgery.

An estimated 1 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 1998 -- a 50 percent increase from the year before. And it is not just women who are opting to enhance their appearance through surgery. Statistics show that the number of men having liposuction -- the removal of fatty tissue -- has tripled since 1992. In addition, the number of men having facelifts has almost doubled.

What are the most common plastic surgery procedures?

The most common cosmetic procedures are listed here by their common or descriptive names. The medical term for the procedure is enclosed in parentheses.

  • Breast augmentation or enlargement (augmentation mammaplasty)
  • Chemical peel chin, cheek, or jaw reshaping (facial implants or soft tissue augmentation)
  • Dermabrasion eye lid lift (blepharoplasty)
  • Ear pinning (otoplasty)
  • Facelift (rhytidectomy)
  • Forehead lift hair replacement/transplantation liposuction (lipoplasty)
  • Nose reshaping (rhinoplasty)
  • Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)
  • Spider and varicose vein treatment (sclerotherapy)
  • Breast reduction (mastopexy or reduction mammoplasty)
  • Plumping / collagen or fat injections (facial rejuvenation)

The University of Maryland Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery evaluates and treats any physical deformity that can be corrected by surgery, whether acquired or congenital. The division works in collaboration with other specialties to offer thorough patient management at both the University of Maryland Medical Center and Kernan Hospital.

For more information on the Kernan Plastic Surgery or to make an appointment, please call 410-328-2360.