Thursday, 23 August 2018

Plastic surgery is used to repair

and reconstruct missing or damaged tissue and skin.

The main aim of plastic surgery is to restore the function of tissues and skin to as close to normal as possible.

Improving the appearance of body parts is an important, but secondary, aim.

Plastic surgery is different from cosmetic surgery, which is surgery carried out solely to change a healthy person's appearance to achieve what they feel is a more desirable look.

Read more about cosmetic surgery.

When plastic surgery is used
Plastic surgery can be used to repair:

abnormalities that have existed from birth, such as a cleft lip and palate, webbed fingers, and birthmarks
areas damaged by the removal of cancerous tissue, such as from the face or breast
extensive burns or other serious injuries
Plastic surgery can often help improve a person's self-esteem, confidence and overall quality of life.

Availability of plastic surgery
Reconstructive plastic surgery is usually carried out free of charge on the NHS. But availability varies around the country and is determined by local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

Plastic surgeons have extensive training and belong to professional associations, such as the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS).

Check whether a particular surgeon belongs to BAPRAS

Most people are referred to NHS plastic surgeons by their GP or a specialist consultant they see about their condition.

Plastic surgery is also available privately, but it can be very expensive.

It's still a good idea to speak to your GP or specialist first if you're considering private treatment, even if a referral isn't required.

Plastic surgery techniques
The main techniques used during plastic surgery are:

skin grafts – where healthy skin from an unaffected area of the body is removed and used to replace lost or damaged skin
skin flap surgery – where a piece of tissue from one part of the body is transferred to another, along with the blood vessels that keep it alive; it's called flap surgery because the healthy tissue usually remains partially attached to the body while it's repositioned
tissue expansion – where surrounding tissue is stretched to enable the body to "grow" extra skin, which can then be used to help reconstruct the nearby area
As well as these techniques, plastic surgeons also use many other methods, such as:

fat transfer or grafting – where fat is removed from one area and inserted in another area, usually to correct unevenness
vacuum closure – where suction is applied to a wound through a sterile piece of foam to draw out fluid and encourage healing
camouflage make-up or cream
prosthetic devices, such as artificial limbs
Read more about how plastic surgery is performed.

Risks of plastic surgery
As with any type of surgery, plastic surgery has associated risks.

The degree of risk depends on the size of the affected area, the surgeon's level of experience, and the overall health of the person having the procedure.

Some procedures carry specific risks, but general risks include:

pain and discomfort
Contact your surgeon, healthcare team or GP immediately if you have any concerns after surgery, such as unexpected pain, swelling, discharge, or other side effects.
Pleurisy is inflammation of the tissue (pleura) between the lungs and ribcage.

Symptoms of pleurisy
The most common symptom of pleurisy is a sharp chest pain when you breathe deeply. You sometimes also feel pain in your shoulder.

The pain may be worse when you cough, sneeze or move around. It may be relieved by taking shallow breaths.

Other symptoms include shortness of breath and a dry cough.

When to see your GP
See your GP if you have chest pain or other symptoms of pleurisy.

Pleurisy can usually be diagnosed based on your symptoms. Your GP will listen to your chest – a distinctive dry, crunching sound may suggest you have pleurisy.

Further tests may be needed to find out what's causing pleurisy and how severe it is.

These tests include:

blood tests
chest X-rays
an ultrasound scan
a CT scan
a biopsy – where a small sample of pleural tissue or lung tissue is removed for further testing
Get immediate medical help if you have severe chest pain, particularly if you also have other symptoms, such as coughing up blood, nausea or sweating. 

Treating pleurisy
Treatment for pleurisy usually involves relieving the pain and, in some cases, treating the underlying cause.

If treated promptly, pleurisy often gets better without causing any lasting lung damage.

Treating chest pain
Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, often eases the pain.

If NSAIDs are unsuitable for you or don't work, your doctor may prescribe another painkiller.

It seems strange, but lying on the side of your chest that hurts may also help reduce the pain.

Treating the underlying cause
If your pleurisy is caused by a viral infection, it'll usually get better on its own after a few days.

If it's caused by a bacterial infection, you'll need antibiotics. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, this may be either tablets or injections.

If your symptoms are particularly severe or you're already in poor health, you may need to be admitted to hospital.

Treating pleural effusion
In some cases, pleurisy causes a build-up of excess fluid around the lungs called pleural effusion.

Pleural effusion can lead to shortness of breath that gets progressively worse. This is more likely if pleurisy is caused by pulmonary embolism or a bacterial infection.

If pleural effusion doesn't clear up as your pleurisy is treated or you're very short of breath, the fluid may need to be drained by inserting a needle or tube through the chest wall.

This can be done under general anaesthetic or local anaesthetic. You may need to stay in hospital for a few days if a lot of fluid has to be drained away

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