Diagnosis & Treatment
Leading cosmetic and reconstructive treatments.
The decision to have plastic surgery is very personal, and the results can be life-changing. Whether you are considering plastic surgery for reconstructive reasons due to cancer, trauma or a congenital disorder, or simply to enhance your appearance, you can rest assured that you will be treated by a team of highly experienced plastic surgeons.
The Rochester General Division of Plastic Surgery offers a full range of cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery treatments for patients of all ages. We use the latest technology and minimally invasive techniques, whenever possible, to advance healing and minimize your recovery time.
Cosmetic Surgery Procedures
Reconstructive plastic surgery is performed to improve body function or to correct facial and body abnormalities caused by congenital (birth) deformities, trauma, disease or aging. Patients that undergo reconstructive plastic surgery generally include persons with congenital anomalies (i.e., cleft lip, craniofacial anomalies or hand deformities) and persons with developmental deformities (i.e., deformities due to an accident, infection, disease or aging). The following are types of reconstructive plastic surgery we provide:
Types of Reconstructive Surgery
- Breast Implants – Implants, filled with either saline or silicone, are usually combined with skin expansion or flap surgery to reconstruct a breast.
- Skin Expansion – This procedure provides a pocket of skin for a breast implant. Your plastic surgeon will surgically implant a balloon expander underneath the skin and muscle of your chest. Over the course of several weeks to several months, your plastic surgeon will slowly fill the balloon with a salt-water solution. Once an appropriately sized pocket of skin is created, an operation will be performed to remove the balloon and replace it with a breast implant. The process is finally completed by another procedure that reconstructs the nipple and the areola.
- Flap Reconstruction – An alternative to breast reconstruction procedures, this procedure uses skin expansion and a breast implant. The breast is reconstructed using a skin flap made of tissue from other areas of the body, most commonly the back, abdomen or buttocks. There are a number of ways a plastic surgeon can reconstruct a breast using a skin flap. In one method, the flap is tunneled beneath skin to the location where the breast is being reconstructed, remaining attached to its original site. The fat, skin, and muscle of the flap are often enough to create the entire breast mound, though the plastic surgeon may elect to add an implant, if necessary. In another method of flap reconstruction surgery, tissue is entirely separated from its initial location, usually on the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks, and is then re-attached to blood vessels at its new site.
- Medical Tattooing – Tattooing can be used to aid in the coloring of a reconstructed nipple and areola.
- Follow-up Procedures – Additional procedures are typically necessary after a breast reconstruction surgery. Breast reconstructions are often complex and involve a number of procedures that are performed over a period of time. The first operation is usually the longest and most involved, however. Follow-up surgery may be necessary to replace a balloon expander with a breast implant or reconstruct the nipple, for example.
- Suction Lipectomy – This is a form of liposuction that allows for tapering of the edges of the tissue without unwanted side effects. Complicated gynecomastia conditions may require an open surgical procedure, in which an incision is made and the excess breast tissue is removed.
- Endoscopic Surgery – Endoscopic surgery uses a small, flexible tube with a light and a camera lens at the end (endoscope) to examine the inside of the breast. The tissue is then removed without placing a large, open, surgical incision.
- Skin Grafts – Skin grafts involve replacing or attaching skin to a part of the hand that has missing skin. The most common type of injury requiring a skin graft is a fingertip amputation or injury. Skin grafts are performed by taking a piece of healthy skin from another area of the body (called the donor site) and attaching it to the needed area.
- Skin Flaps – Similar to a skin graft, a skin flap uses part of the skin from another area, however, with a skin flap, the skin that is retrieved has its own blood supply. The section of skin used includes the underlying blood vessels, fat and muscles. Flaps may be used when an area that is missing the skin does not have a good supply of blood because of the location, damage to the vessels or extensive damage to the tissue.
- Closed Reduction and Fixation – This technique may be used when there is a fracture in part of the hand, including the fingers. This type of surgery attempts to realign the fractured bone and then immobilize the area during the healing phase. Immobilization can be done with internal fixtures, such as with wires, rods, splints or casts.
- Tendon Repair – Tendons are the fibers that attach muscle to bone, and surgery to repair tendons remains a challenge because of the structure of the tendon. Tendon injuries can occur from infection, trauma and other diseases, or may just spontaneously rupture. Repair of a tendon may be classified as primary, delayed primary, or secondary. Primary repairs usually involve direct surgical correction of the injury, while secondary repairs may include tendon grafts (inserting tendons from other areas of the body in place of the damaged tendon) or other more complex procedures.
- Nerve Repairs – Damage to the nerves in the hand from injury may result in a decreased ability to move the hand and experience feeling. Some nerve injuries may heal on their own, while others require surgery. Surgery to investigate a damaged nerve that is not complicated by other injuries is usually performed soon after the trauma to increase the likelihood of a full recovery. The nerve may be repaired by reattaching it directly to the other end of the nerve or by using a nerve graft (inserting nerves from other areas of the body in place of the damaged nerve).
- Fasciotomy – This procedure is performed to help treat compartment syndromes. A compartment is a three-dimensional anatomic space in the body that is surrounded by fascia or bone and contains arteries, nerves and veins. In the hand, a compartment syndrome may lead to severe and increasing pain, muscle weakness and, eventually, a change in color of the fingers or nail beds.
- Surgical Drainage and/or Debridement – Infections of the hand are a common reason people seek treatment. If there is an abscess in the hand, surgical drainage may be used to help remove the collection of pus. Debridement, or cleansing of a wound to prevent further infection and to help promote healing, may be used if the infection or wound is severe.
- Joint Replacement – Also called arthroplasty, joint replacement surgery may be used in people with severe arthritis of the hand and involves replacing a joint that has been destroyed by the disease process with an artificial joint. This artificial joint may be made out of metal, plastic, silicone rubber or a patient’s own body tissue (such as a tendon).
- Replantation – This type of surgery replaces fingers or hands that have inadvertently been amputated, usually by some type of trauma. Replantation uses microsurgery, which is an intricate and precise surgery performed under magnification. Some severe injuries may require more than one surgery for optimal recovery.
Scar Removal and Revision
- Skin Grafts – Skin grafts involve replacing or attaching skin to a part of the hand that is missing skin and are typically used to fix an injury or fingertip amputation. Skin grafts are performed by taking a piece of healthy skin from another area of the body (the donor site) and attaching it to the area in need.
- Skin Flaps – Similar to a skin graft, a skin flap uses part of the skin from another area. With a skin flap, however, the skin that is retrieved has its own blood supply and includes the underlying blood vessels, fat and muscles. Skin flaps may be used when an area of the body that is missing skin does not have a good supply of blood because of the location, damage to the vessels or extensive damage to the tissue.
- Steroid Injections – Steroid injections can increase the body’s natural healing and help to reduce the appearance of scars.
- Z-Plasty – This minor surgical procedure is used to realign a scar so that it sits more in line with the natural creases in the skin and is less noticeable. It can also ease some of the tension that results from contracture scars.
Skin Cancer Treatments
According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most frequently diagnosed form of cancer in the United States—and the numbers continue to rise. Skin cancers can appear in different forms, but most often they appear as growths and discolorations on the skin, particularly the face, head and neck, which receive the most exposure to the sun.
Our surgeons have the experience to diagnose and treat the various types of skin cancer, and use the utmost of care to surgically remove cancer growths, while maintaining your physical appearance.
Our team is committed to providing you with superior care and we want you to feel confident about your decision to have surgery. If you have any additional questions or would like more information, please contact us at any time.
What are the Risks of Plastic Surgery?
Most surgery carries the risks of anesthesia and bleeding, and additional risks associated with surgery depend greatly on the type of surgery being performed. Additional risks may include, but are not limited to: infection, incomplete healing, blood clots, and nerve damage which may cause loss of feeling in the surgical area.