Our plastic surgeons provide elective procedures for cosmetic reasons, each one of them with extensive expertise in the reconstructive surgery which makes up the largest proportion of our work. Each of our consultants brings their own sub-specialty within plastics and as such, we are able to deliver the breadth of treatments needed within this specialty.
Set in Circle Reading's clean and modern hospital environment, our ethos is to provide the very best care for everyone seeking a clinical opinion. Our specialist unit informs you of your clinical options in a non-judgmental manner and, led by our consultants, specialist nurses and psychologists, we provide appropriate support through what can be a stressful time. Through this, we allow our patients full control over their care with post-surgical follow-up appointments available at short notice as required to monitor progress.
Plastic surgery is a branch of medicine that specialises in altering the function or the appearance of tissue. The majority of a plastic surgeon’s work focuses on reconstructive surgery to repair damaged tissue. Tissue damage may be the result of several factors including:
- Extensive burns are a common problem treated by plastic surgeons. The cosmetic need will often be greatest if the burns have affected the head and neck area. However, skin contracture from burns around the torso, shoulders and pelvis can also be a major concern that can be improved with skin grafts, which allow a more normal flexibility and range of motion in the surrounding joints.
- Infection due to trauma, illness or operations may all result in significant tissue loss.
- Operations to remove tumours around the head and neck area often requires removal of bone, muscle and skin. Plastic surgeons operate to restore a more normal facial and neck skin contour.
- Trauma such as compound fractures when bones pierce the skin, as well as crush injuries and external piercing injuries, may all need reconstruction of the soft tissue.
Depending on the nature of the reconstruction, the procedure may be conducted over more than one surgery. Skin grafts are taken from donor sites away from the site of reconstruction from tissue which is best able to match the recipient site. A large and important aspect of plastic surgery is appropriate wound management of the graft and recipient site, and may be monitored over several weeks or months.
At your initial consultation, our expert surgeons will discuss your individual circumstances, including the history of the condition and your particular concerns. They will conduct an in-depth visual and manual assessment of the area of concern. This will include assessing the exact anatomical area of injury, the size and depth of the area of concern, as well as the colour and texture of surrounding tissues.
State-of-the-art diagnostics available for you
Although not always required, it is occasionally necessary to request X-rays and other scans to assess the integrity of the underlying muscle and bone structure which may inform the best surgical technique.
The right treatment for you, always
Various types of plastic surgery reconstruction can be considered, and your surgeon will agree the best way forwards for your individual circumstance prior to your procedure.
Plastic surgeons consider different forms of skin graft depending on the specifics of each surgery:
- Full thickness grafts are harvested with the deeper layer skin (dermis) included in the graft.
- Partial or split thickness grafts only include part of the dermis.
- Composite grafts are the name given where the skin is harvested with other types of tissue attached such as underlying cartilage or bone.
The graft site will be selected depending on the type of skin graft performed. Common graft sites for small areas may include:
- Inner elbow
- Upper eyelid
Common graft sites for more extensive areas may include:
- Abdominal wall
Plastic surgeons are able to perform the reconstruction using a mesh which is stitched in to the affected site. This form of graft allows more normal movement during recovery and relies on the graft gradually vascularising itself in to the surrounding tissue.
A flap reconstruction does not use a mesh but transfers the entire graft along with its existing vascular supply. Microsurgery can then be used to reconnect the vascular supply to the surrounding area.
Tissue expansion is another type of surgical technique sometimes used instead of a harvested graft. It is performed by slowly filling a balloon structure placed under the skin with water. This has the effect of stretching the skin so it is able to cover the wound appropriately.
Following reconstructive surgery, the wounds are treated with specialised dressings and ointments applied under the supervision of a qualified specialist in this area.
Our hospital is able to offer appointments at short notice and with flexible, convenient times with leading experts. Our relevant diagnostic procedures may be booked immediately following your initial or follow-up consultation.
Plastic surgery is a highly complex area of surgery in which the results often depend on considerable technical expertise. At Circle Health, we invest in and utilise the very latest in imaging, interventional technology and surgical instrumentation to aid our expert plastic surgeons.
Ongoing support and advice
Following any reconstructive surgery, detailed and regular monitoring of surgical wounds is critical to prevent complications, as well as to gain the best possible functional and aesthetic outcome.
Circle Health provide a holistic approach to post-operative care with specialist nurses and physiotherapists supporting regular wound check-ups and rehabilitation through movement. Each member of our clinical team is in regular communication, ensuring everyone is working towards the same goals.
Peace of mind for you
Individuals in need of reconstructive surgery have often been through significant trauma already and we understand undergoing further surgery can be a further stressful experience. We provide the very best in surgical planning, surgical procedural expertise, as well as post-operative support for the patient. This includes providing referrals where necessary to our psychological therapies unit to give you the opportunity of discussing your concerns and apprehensions with a specialist counsellor.
Circle Health plans and carries out thousands of appointments and medical interventions each week. With this level of experience, we have developed an excellence in both clinical and non-clinical care that matches our expertise in plastic surgery. This provides a stress-free and streamlined patient journey from each appointment and intervention to the next
Not only is our plastics clinical care second to none, your surgical treatment will be conducted in a modern, clean facility which you are able to feel comfortable in throughout your treatment.
To arrange your consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon, contact our friendly team today who will be delighted to help.