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Plastic Surgery – October 1st, 2004

Dr. Somasundaram Sathappan MBBS MS FRCS,Consultant Plastic Surgeon,Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia,Kuala Lumpur.

This is a field of medicine that concerns the form and function of the various body parts.The term plastic has been ingrained into the speciality because of the nature of skin which is elastic and thus the term plastic surgery.

This speciality has many branches which are:

1.Care of wounds in various parts of the body.

2.Cancer of the skin and reconstruction of deformities after the removal of the cancer eg. Reconstruction of the face after head and neck cancer removal, breast reconstruction after breast cancer surgery.

3.Burns and its complications including scar contractures of the skin.

4.Chronic leg swelling also known as lymphodema

5.Craniomaxillofacial surgery.

6.Pediatric Plastic Surgery which includes deformities of the ear and penis, and vascular malformations.

7.Hand Surgery

8.Cosmetic Surgery

It is quite obvious from the list above that the range of diseases treated by plastic surgeons is extensive. Thus the requirement on the part of the surgeon practicing plastic surgery is correspondingly demanding and high standards are expected.

The training to become a plastic surgeon is long but varies depending on ones geographical location.

There are many web sites dispense useful unbiased information, some of which are:

I hope the above information has shed some light on this speciality. However I wish to caution readers that some cosmetic treatments are suitable mainly for Caucasian skin, and darker skin types must seek proper advice before disasters happen!

If further information is required I can be contacted at

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