Plastic and cosmetic surgeries
Plastic surgery is a branch of medicine that deals with reconstruction and repair of the facial and other body parts. The word itself means ‘to mould or give form’, derived from the Greek word ‘plastikos’. It can be used to correct the defects and deformities due to congenital disorders, injury, physical trauma, and burns or for aesthetic reasons.
These procedures might be done for medical reasons or to restore the functions. Cosmetic surgery encompasses the procedures that are performed to alter the shape and structure of the face or other body parts to enhance the aesthetic appearance. These are elective procedures that are opted by patients and usually does not change the functions of the operated part.
Commonly performed types of plastic surgery in Thailand:
Plastic surgeries are generally reconstructive procedure which aim to correct a defect or dysfunctional areas of the face or body. The plastic surgery hospitals in Thailand offer comprehensive treatment plans with post-operative care facilities to ensure healthy recovery.
Breast Reconstruction: This surgery is performed to restore the shape, volume and appearance of one or both breasts after a breast cancer surgery (mastectomy) or due to another disease. It mostly involves multiple procedures that are performed in stages which may begin at the time of mastectomy or scheduled for a later date.
Breast reconstruction can be performed either with breast implant surgery or using flap reconstruction. The implant based reconstruction involves placement of breast implants to restore the breast shape. The flap reconstruction technique is also known as autologous method as the patient’s own tissue taken from another part of the body are used to form a new breast.
The choice of method may depend on several factors including the type of mastectomy performed, kind of cancer treatments and body type of the patient.
Congenital Defect Repair including cleft lip and palate repair: Two of the most common birth anomalies that affect children worldwide are cleft lip and cleft palate. This is characterized by incomplete formation of the upper lip which results in a cleft lip or roof of the mouth which causes cleft palate. These two can occur individually or together in a child. The severity of the conditions can vary, involving one or both sides of the mouth. Cleft lip and/or cleft palate can be repaired with surgery.
The surgery for cleft lip or palate repair is an individualized procedure. The aim is to close the cleft defect to form a normal lip and improve or restore the function ability of the parts. For cleft lip repair (cheiloplasty), reconstruction is done for the lip and a more normal appearance is created. The closure of the cleft may result in a scar which can be located within or near the typical features of the upper lip. This is followed by the formation of a cupid’s bow – the curves that dips in the center of the upper lip. It also establishes an adequate distance between the upper lip and nose.
Craniosynostosis: This is a condition characterized by an early fusion of the fibrous joints between the skull bones. These joints are called as sutures. As this usually occurs before or at birth, it can result in an abnormal shape of the head. It may also cause restriction growth of the brain in some cases, leading to increase in the pressure inside the skull.
Surgery for craniosynostosis involves correction of the abnormal head shape, creating the room for normal expansion of the growing brain. The surgery is typically recommended in the first two years of life of the child. Craniosynostosis surgery can be performed in multiple ways, such as strip craniectomy, spring-assisted craniectomy, cranial vault remodelling, and others. However, not every craniosynostosis patient is a candidate for all types of surgeries. A plastic surgeon and neurosurgeon work together to design the best treatment plan for a patient.
Scar Revision Surgery: This is a group of procedure which are used to minimize a scar in order to make it appear less conspicuous. The aim is to let it blends in with the skin tone and texture of the surrounding area. Scars can be left after a wound or surgery. Their development and appearance may depend on the patient’s skin type, and the type of injury or surgery.
Poor healing may make scars look more prominent or disfigured. The treatment options for scar minimization vary based on the type and degree of scarring. This may include topical treatments, minimally invasive procedures or surgical revision using advanced techniques for wound closure. It is important to keep in mind that a scar revision may provide more aesthetic result or improve the scar appearance that has not healed properly, it cannot completely remove the scar.
Orthognathic surgery: Also known as jaw straightening surgery. It involves a group of surgical procedures that aim to improve both form and function of the upper jaw, lower jaw and chin. Orthognathic surgery can be performed to improve the way teeth fit together, to enhance or optimize the facial proportions and/or for medical reasons such as treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.
Commonly performed cosmetic surgeries in Thailand are:
Breast Augmentation: It is also commonly referred to as boob job or augmentation mammoplasty. The procedure involves placement of implants or fat transfer. The aim is to increase the size, volumize, symmetry and appeal of the entire breast area. This is an elective surgery which is followed by a hospital stay for 1 – 2 days. The patient is advised to rest and take some days off from work after the discharge. The post-operative care is critical and the patient must follow all the instructions. The restrictions will include heavy lifting, exercise or any form strenuous activity for 2-4 weeks after the surgery.
There are many types of breast implants in Thailand, but they are mainly categorizes as silicone gel-filled or saline implants. They come in various shapes and textures. The incision pattern and placement of implant may have variations based on the type of implant.
Some risks associated with breast augmentation procedure include infection, injury to nerve and surrounding muscles, numbness, and possible leakage from the saline implants (require a revision surgery).
Rhinoplasty: One of the most popular cosmetic surgery in Thailand is Rhinoplasty, which is commonly known as a nose job. It can be performed for medical reasons such as correction of an abnormal nose structure or septum deviation which causes obstruction for breathing. Rhinoplasty is often performed for aesthetic reasons, which means to improve the appearance of the nose in proportion to facial features.
The procedure is personalized for an individual depending on their need for surgery, shape and structure of the nose and texture of nose skin. It can be performed as open or close rhinoplasty, varying in the position of the incision. It may involve a nose implant or graft, tissue removal, nose reshaping or augmentation rhinoplasty.
Possible risk associated with nose job surgery are haematoma (bleeding in the abdominal region), damage to nerves and blood vessels as well as underlying nerves and poor healing of incision.
Abdominoplasty: This is a body shaping procedure which aims to provide the patient a more toned and flatter abdomen. It is known as a tummy tuck procedure. In this, the surgeon removes excess skin and fat from the abdominal region. This is followed by tightening of the wall of abdominal muscles to enhance the appearance of the tummy.
A mini-tummy tuck surgery in Thailand is also available. This procedure focuses on the contours of the lower abdomen. The patient may have to stay in the hospital for 2-3 days prior to the procedure, in order to prepare for additional tests or scans. This is important to assess the health of the patient and determine whether there are any risk from the procedure. Post-operative hospital stay may vary from 3-5 days, depending on the extent of the surgery and patient’s health. The doctor will schedule follow-up appointment after the discharge to remove the stitches and check on wound cleaning.
Abdominoplasty risk include infection, hematoma, blood clots, numbness in the area of the incision and anesthetic related risks.
Rhytidectomy or facelift: This procedure aims to improve the visible signs of ageing and sagging skin of and around the face and neck. During the surgeon, excess skin and muscles are removed to tighten the skin of the face and neck. The incision sites are usually discreet and must not be subjected to excessive pressure or sudden movements as it can damage the cuts and result in poor healing as well as scarring.
Blepharoplasty: Eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty is an elective cosmetic procedure to reverse the signs of ageing around the eyes. It involves removal of excess skin and folds around the eye, to restore the youthful appearance. Lower eyelid surgery in Thailand is done to remove the bagginess under the eyes. This procedure can be combined with other facial lift procedures.
Liposuction: The cosmetic procedure involves the removal of excess fat under the skin for cosmetic reasons. It can be performed on different body parts, including the hips, abdomen, back, arms or face. The aim is to improve the figure and appearance, especially when the stubborn doesn’t go away with exercise and diet. It is often planned with other cosmetic procedures such as breast reductions, tummy tucks, and facelifts.
Possible risks associated with this surgery are bleeding, skin contour irregularities, sagging of the skin, fat necrosis, scarring in areas that do not heal completely.