While most people associate plastic surgery with elective cosmetic procedures, the truth is plastic surgery can improve not only a person’s appearance but also their ability to breathe, eat, hear, or see. Here are five ways in which plastic surgery can improve the lives and health of children.
Reconstructive Surgery Following an Accident:
Every year, more than 450 children under the age of 15 are injured in a traffic accident in the United States and many suffer from devastating injuries and disfigurement. A car accident can cause blunt and penetrating facial trauma that damages the skin, dental structures, skeleton, mouth, and nose. Reconstructive surgery can help children move past a traumatic accident by reducing the physical reminders and restoring function that may have been lost.
Restorative Surgery after a Dog Bite:
More than 360,000 children in the same age range are bitten by dogs each year with more than 25,000 undergoing reconstructive surgery as a result. 40% of dog bites result in tearing of the flesh. Dog bites can result in both penetrating and tearing injuries that can leave a child with life long scars, make it difficult to eat, and lead to bullying and self-esteem issues. Reconstructive plastic surgery can reduce scarring, restore facial symmetry and expression, and help children live a more normal life.
Cleft Palate and Lip Correction:
Cleft palate and cleft lip are two of one of the most common birth defects that affect children. These defects can make it difficult to eat, drink, and speak and many children with a cleft lip or palate struggle in school due to feelings of insecurity. According to Shriner’s Hospital Cincinnati, cleft lip and palate repair can correct this developmental defect to restore function as well as a more normal appearance to children.
Ear Surgery Can Reduce Bullying and Self-Esteem Problems:
Cosmetic otoplasty, or ear surgery, is a plastic surgery procedure performed on children as young as five. Children who have ears that are too large or stick out may be teased by other children or suffer from self-esteem problems and emotional distress. Surgery can give children a more normal and symmetrical appearance to improve their confidence.
Birthmark Removal for Improved Confidence:
While most birthmarks are harmless, some can be disfiguring or even lead to health problems. For example, a nevus, or a dark patch of skin with hair, can make children feel self-conscious and open them to bullying. This type of birthmark also has the potential to become a malignant melanoma if it isn’t treated. There are several plastic surgery options to correct birthmarks and restore confidence to children.
Plastic surgery is about much more than cosmetic beauty; it has the power to transform a child’s life by reducing scars of a traumatic attack or accident or correcting defects that interfere with learning, speaking, and eating. It will help them perform better socially as they will feel a little more confident and comfortable with themselves and with others. That alone should make the plastic surgery worth having.