The word plastic in plastic surgery means artificial is a common misunderstanding. Rather, the word came from the ancient Greek word plastikos, meaning molding or forming. Plastic surgery is a specialty of surgery that involves both improving the appearance of a person and reconstructing facial and body tissue defects due to disease, trauma, or birth disorders.
Plastic surgery restores and improves function, as well as appearance. It can involve surgery on any part of the anatomy, except the central nervous system, including:
- Skin (including skin cancer, scars, burns, birthmarks, and tattoo removal)
- Maxillofacial (the facial skeleton)
- Congenital anomalies (including deformed ears, cleft palate, and cleft lip)