About Plastic Surgery

What is aesthetic medicine?

Aesthetic medicine is a term which encompasses the range of non-surgical procedures which lie between the realm of the beauty therapist and the plastic surgeon, such as; light chemical peels, collagen injections, laser hair removal and microdermabrasion. These procedures are carried out by specialised nurses at the McDiarmid-Hall Clinic who have undergone additional training in these areas.

What is plastic surgery?

The title plastic surgery is derived from the Greek word “plastikos” meaning “to shape or mould”. A proportion of the reconstructive work undertaken by plastic surgeons involves dealing with large and difficult wounds, and the process of covering large open areas with healthy skin in reconstructive plastic surgery is where the moulding or shaping part comes from.

Plastic surgery developed as a speciality in its own right during World War II when massive numbers of severely injured patients with large and difficult wounds sparked the creation, not only of this new speciality, but also specialist hospitals where the surgery and rehabilitation could take place.

Over the decades there have been tremendous advances in the techniques used and in our understanding of the anatomy and blood supply of the skin. Reconstructive plastic surgery, which is almost exclusively practiced within the NHS in the UK, now includes the treatment of burns, skin cancer, microsurgery, hand surgery and severe trauma of the face and body.

 

The scarless wound myth

It is not, and never has been possible, to produce a scarless wound even though a great deal of research has been undertaken to achieve this.

It is possible however to make a wound almost imperceptible by disguising it in a natural skin crease and suturing (stitching) it so that the resulting scar is very neat. Endoscopic, or keyhole surgery, techniques have also impacted on plastic surgical practice and, in certain procedures, far smaller scars are achievable when the endoscope is used. Since our speciality evolved around the management of difficult wounds, plastic surgeons excel in meticulous tissue handling and skin suturing techniques.

What if further surgery is needed?

Excellent results cannot be guaranteed every time in aesthetic surgery and any honest surgeon will admit to having had to re-operate on a small number of patients to achieve the desired results. Complications do happen and this is a fact that patients need to be aware of. A frank discussion about who will pay for any extra treatment if the surgery is not straightforward is essential before consenting to any procedure. In the rare event that secondary surgery is necessary for adjustment, Mr McDiarmid is happy to offer secondary procedures free of charge; however the private hospital and anaethetist may need to be paid for by the patient. In the occasional event of further surgery being required as a consequence of a complication of surgery, such as an infection or haematoma, then there is no extra charge either from Mr McDiarmid or the private hospital.