Reconstructive surgery is the branch of plastic surgery which aims to repair various tissues of the body including skin, subcutaneous tissue and muscles, of congenital (present at birth) or acquired (from trauma, accidents, diseases, and previous surgery) nature from a functional point of view. Aesthetic improvements are of secondary importance in this type of surgery. 

What does a reconstructive surgeon do?

A reconstructive surgeon is a doctor specializing in reconstructive surgery that deals with the functional defects in various tissues of the body including skin, subcutaneous tissue, and muscles of congenital and acquired nature.

What diseases are treated by a reconstructive surgeon?

The disease treated by a reconstructive surgeon are similar to those treated by a plastic surgeon, the only difference being that in reconstructive surgery the primary objective is the recovery of the function of the body part in question. These include abnormalities caused by birth defects such as cleft lip, cleft palate, webbed fingers, and malformations of the breasts or genitals, areas of the body damaged by previous surgeries such as mastectomy and tumor removal, severe burns, and traumas.

What are the procedures used by a reconstructive surgeon?

There are several procedures that can be used by a reconstructive surgeon depending on the condition being treated. One of the most used techniques is “grafting”, which is when portions of tissue are taken from a certain area of ​the body to be implanted somewhere else. Another technique is the “flap”, where flaps are portions of tissue that maintain a connection with the donor area and that are transferred to the receiving area, which must therefore necessarily be adjacent to the donor. 
Implants are used for different purposes, usually for filling or correction a congenital or acquired deformity in areas such as the breast, calves, buttocks, and cheeks. Finally, the nose and ears can also undergo surgery for both functional and aesthetic reasons.

When should a patient visit a reconstructive surgeon?

A patient should request an appointment with a reconstructive surgeon if they wish to fix congenital or acquired defects, and in order to monitor postsurgical recovery.