When most people think about plastic surgery, they tend to think about elective cosmetic plastic surgery. Many people consider plastic surgery to be “superficial.” However, plastic surgery emerged out of the need for reconstruction in various parts of the body, and the crucial role of the specialty was brought to public light by wartime injuries that led to reconstructive needs for injured soldiers and civilians. The field of plastic surgery includes reconstruction of birth defects, accidents, cancer, and other conditions needing restoration of appearance and function. As plastic surgery evolved over time, the elective cosmetic aspect of the specialty blossomed later.
I was quite excited when I found out about a Netflix show highlighting the very real essential nature of plastic surgery. In addition to the importance of the field, it also highlights the importance of women surgeons in the medical field. The series, entitled, Skin Decision: Before and After, turns its attention to the importance of plastic surgery that dispels the common “cosmetic only” perception. https://www.netflix.com/search?q=skin%20decision
According to an article on the official website of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons at plasticsurgery.org, “Several people on the show have overcome traumatic events, and their emotional backstories and reasons for seeking cosmetic surgery will likely tug on viewers’ heartstrings. Katrina, whose ex-husband shot her nine times before he killed himself and their two daughters, cried tears of joy after undergoing a full surgical procedure to remove her bullet wounds and scars and erase the physical reminder of her tragedy. Nicholas underwent a procedure to reduce facial scarring from a near-fatal car crash. Former model Marla, a victim of an infamous brutal razor attack in the ’80s, regained her self-esteem with non-invasive cosmetic procedures. Louis seeks help to restore his smile before his wedding and reduce traumatic injuries from a collision with a drunk driver.”
As a plastic surgeon, it is a privilege to help to restore not only the health and beauty of children born with birth differences or traumatic injuries, as well as their function and confidence. It is very exciting to see a popular network outlet highlighting some of the important work of this field. It brought some needed focus on the integrity and life-changing work of the specialty and highlights the importance of a field that goes far beyond the idea that plastic surgery is merely skin deep.