Plastic surgery is defined as a surgical specialty dedicated to reconstruction of facial and body defects due to birth disorders, trauma, burns, and disease. Plastic surgery is intended to correct dysfunctional areas of the body and is reconstructive in nature.
Though cosmetic or aesthetic surgery is the most well known kind of plastic surgery, plastic surgery itself is not necessarily considered cosmetic and includes many types of reconstructive surgery, craniofacial surgery, hand surgery, microsurgery, and the treatment of burns.
During the term plastic surgery, the adjective plastic implies sculpting or reshaping, which is derived from the Greek πλαστική (τέχνη), plastikē (tekhnē), “the art of modelling” of malleable flesh. This meaning in English is attested as early as 1598. The surgical definition of “plastic” first appeared in 1839, preceding the modern “engineering material made from petroleum” sense of plastic (coined by Leo Baekeland in 1909) by seventy years.
Hand surgery is concerned with acute injuries and chronic diseases of the hand and wrist, correction of congenital malformations of the upper extremities, and peripheral nerve problems (such as brachial plexus injuries or carpal tunnel syndrome). Hand surgery is an important part of training in plastic surgery, as well as microsurgery, which is necessary to replant an amputated extremity. The Hand surgery field is also practiced by orthopedic surgeons and general surgeons. Scar tissue formation after surgery can be problematic on the delicate hand, causing loss of dexterity and digit function if severe enough. There have been cases of surgery to women’s hands in order to correct perceived flaws to create the perfect engagement ring photo.