It is argued that more than 1.000.000 reconstructive procedures are performed by surgeons every year in the USA. Reconstructive surgery helps patients of all ages and types: - whether it is a child with a birth defect, a young person after an accident a middle aged person with a tumor.
The goals of reconstructive surgery differ from those of cosmetic surgery. Reconstructive surgery is performed to correct deformities after trauma, infection, tumors, or a birth defect in the face, hands or body. Generally, it is performed to improve functionality and appearance.
There are two main categories of patients:
Those who have congenital deformities in the face (cleft-lip or palate deformities), hands (syndactyly, polydactyly) or body (breast absent, abnormal breast development, Poland syndrome) and those who developed a deformity later in life after trauma, burn, or after the removal of tumor (mastectomy).
Some patients find reconstructive surgery as a cosmetic procedure as well, (i.e. back & shoulder pain caused by large breasts, facial symmetry after paralysis of the facial nerve, the uplift of the eyelid that covers part of the eye etc.)
Reconstructive procedures are different for each patient and discussed extensively with the surgeon.