The board certified plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon is specialized in the restoration of form and function of the human body. Nowadays our specialty is primarily consulted with reconstructive problems following breast cancer, hand issues, questions following trauma or the wish to appear more ‘youthfully’.
Nonetheless, the applicability of our specialty is even more widespread, i.e. when including modern techniques such as microsurgery (autologous tissue transplantation and connection to the blood perfusion elsewhere), (standardized) hand surgery, burns and its treatments, and the experimental developments in the field of tissue engineering. Tissue engineering means the research and development of artificial organs, skin or highly sophisticated cellular complexes (3D scaffolds working as organs) aiming at restoration of lost function. Like currently no other medical specialty, plastic surgery considers itself as a ‘team player’. In many cases, a single specialist is not enough to tackle the entirety of patient-related health issues. As a result, various consultants and specialized groups meet and discuss medical problems in order to achieve a solution. With regards to complex surgical cases, often times, the plastic surgeon has the role of ‘moderator’ or ‘coordinator’, since he or she is specialized in conservative and operative treatment of wounds. These issues not only consist of complications following surgical procedures, but possibly resulting from radiation or chemotherapy.