plastic surgery

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
?Note: This page may contain content that is offensive or inappropriate for some readers.


1. tending to build up tissues or to restore a lost part.
2. capable of being molded.
3. a high-molecular-weight polymeric material, usually organic, capable of being molded, extruded, drawn, or otherwise shaped and then hardened into a form.
4. material that can be molded.
plastic surgery surgery concerned with the restoration, reconstruction, correction, or improvement in the shape and appearance of body structures that are defective, damaged, or misshapen by injury, disease, or anomalous growth and development. This kind of surgery has been practiced for thousands of years. Artificial noses and ears have been found on Egyptian mummies. Medical records show that the ancient Hindus reconstructed noses by using skin flaps lifted from the cheek or forehead—a technique that was often practiced, since it was a custom to mutilate the noses of persons who broke the laws.
Skin Grafting. This is the most common procedure of plastic surgery, consisting of the replacement of severely damaged skin in one area with healthy skin from another area of the patient's body or from the body of a skin donor. (See further discussion at grafting.) With the advent of microsurgery, much of the inconvenience and lengthy waiting necessary for successful grafting of skin flaps has been eliminated.

The transplanting of tissues other than skin also is possible through microsurgery. Free-bone grafts can be used to provide rapid replacement of long bone defects, and free muscle transfers permit restoration of muscle function.
Repairing Mouth and Other Defects. Among common defects that can be corrected by plastic surgery are cleft lip and cleft palate. Others are webbed fingers and toes, protruding or missing ears, receding chins, and injured noses. In addition, the shape of various types of noses can be altered for the sake of appearance. rhytidectomy is another common type of plastic surgery, done on the face to improve the aging patient's appearance. It is popularly known as a face lift.
Facial Reconstruction. In facial reconstruction, missing bone and muscle, and sometimes skin, are replaced by substitutes. Sometimes the reconstruction is made with bone or cartilage taken from another part of the body, or sometimes it is made by artificial means.
Use of Prostheses. Often the substitute for missing tissue is a prosthesis, a replacement not made from living tissue. It may be inserted beneath the skin (such as to build out a receding chin) or attached to the skin surface (for example, to replace an ear). Prostheses attached to, not inserted beneath, the skin frequently are employed to fill out depressed or missing facial areas, the aftereffects of accidents, cancer, or war injuries. In building such a replacement, the surgeon first makes an impression of the face and a plaster cast of the impression. The substitute part is molded in wax or clay in the plaster cast, and from this model the actual replacement part is made. Such parts, molded and painted to match the texture and color of the skin, have been used to replace many structures, including missing ears and noses.
Use of Cartilage, Skin, and Bone. Noses and ears also have been reconstructed with rib cartilage and skin grafts. Eyebrows have been made by the use of skin grafts from the scalp, and chest deformities repaired by the use of bone chips from other parts of the body.

Sometimes a nose is remodeled to correct a hump or hook, or a saddle nose (a depression on the ridge), or a twisted nose. Incisions are made inside to avoid causing outside scars, and the surgeon either removes excess cartilage or bone, or inserts it, according to the improvement wanted. Cartilage and bone may be obtained from other parts of the body, usually the ribs or hip. After the operation, the skin over the nose adapts to the new structure.
Dermabrasion. Skin blemishes such as acne scars and pits can be “sandpapered” or planed. This technique, called dermabrasion, seeks to correct superficial blemishes and to remove superficial accumulations of pigment. However, as dermabrasion can occasionally cause increased scarring or introduce variation in skin color and texture, such treatment is infrequently performed today.


1. the branch of health science that treats diseases, injuries, and deformities by manual or operative methods.
2. the place where operative procedures are performed.
3. in Great Britain, a room or office where a doctor sees and treats patients.
4. the work performed by a surgeon; see also operation and procedure. adj., adj sur´gical.
ambulatory surgery any operative procedure not requiring an overnight stay in the hospital; it must be carefully planned to ensure that all necessary diagnostic tests are completed prior to admission. Discharge instructions must place a high priority on patient safety. Called also day surgery.
bench surgery surgery performed on an organ that has been removed from the body, after which it is reimplanted.
day surgery ambulatory surgery.
maxillofacial surgery oral and maxillofacial s.
minimal access surgery (minimally invasive surgery) a surgical procedure done in a manner that causes little or no trauma or injury to the patient, such as through a cannula using lasers, endoscopes, or laparoscopes; compared with other procedures, those in this category involve less bleeding, smaller amounts of anesthesia, less pain, and minimal scarring.
open heart surgery surgery that involves incision into one or more chambers of the heart, such as for repair or palliation of congenital heart defects, repair or replacement of defective heart valves, or coronary artery bypass.
oral and maxillofacial surgery that branch of dental practice that deals with the diagnosis and the surgical and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries, and defects of the human mouth and dental structures. Called also maxillofacial or oral surgery.
orthopedic surgery orthopedics.
plastic surgery see plastic surgery.
stereotaxic surgery the production of sharply localized lesions in the brain after precise localization of the target tissue by use of three-dimensional coordinates.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

plas·tic sur·ger·y

the surgical specialty or procedure concerned with the restoration, construction, reconstruction, or improvement in the form, function, and appearance of body structures that are missing, defective, damaged, or misshapen. Encompasses both reconstructive and aesthetic surgery.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

plastic surgery

Surgery to remodel, repair, or restore the appearance and sometimes the function of body parts. It includes reconstructive surgery such as skin grafts and repair of congenital defects as well as cosmetic surgery.

plastic surgeon n.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

plas·tic sur·ge·ry

(plas'tik sŭr'jĕr-ē)
The surgical specialty or procedure concerned with the restoration, construction, reconstruction, or improvement in the shape and appearance of body structures that are missing, defective, damaged, or misshapen.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

plastic surgery

Any surgical procedure designed to repair or reconstruct injured, diseased or malformed tissue so as to restore normal appearance and function. Compare COSMETIC SURGERY.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

Plastic surgery

The restoring and reshaping of the skin and its appendages to improve their function and appearance.
Mentioned in: Peyronie's Disease
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

plas·tic sur·ge·ry

(plas'tik sŭr'jĕr-ē)
The surgical specialty or procedure concerned with the restoration, construction, reconstruction, or improvement in the shape and appearance of body structures.
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
The strengths of this project were multifaceted and aimed to raise global awareness about plastic surgery teaching and career choice.
Students would like to have plastic surgery in undergraduate teaching, even though majority may not pursue it.
demonstrated that the public and even medical graduates develop much of their understanding of plastic surgery from the media.
But, he warns, "If someone has an unhealthy self image, plastic surgery may not be the solution.
The study, which polled people considering plastic surgery within the next two years, found almost 30% reported average household incomes of less than $30,000.
The point of the article wasn't to praise or bash plastic surgery, but to expose its realities.
I've just read your article regarding plastic surgery for Black people.
He has studied plastic surgery at the Mount Sinai Clinic, New York.
We wanted plastic surgery. And so Extreme Makeover promised to deliver the ultimate reinvention, to transform us completely by nipping and tucking away all our imperfections.
She added she is now facing a battle to get plastic surgery on the NHS to help her feel "normal" again.
M2 PRESSWIRE-September 4, 2019-: First Plastic Surgery offers deals on Hair Transplant services