Surgery

The Future is Now: Sci-fi Advancements in Plastic Surgery

  • Plastic surgery has been used in the field of healthcare for health related issues, since the ancient times, using skin grafts. It was not until the nineteenth century that plastic surgery was actually used for cosmetic purposes. Since then, the popularity of plastic surgery has seen its fair share of dips and rises as new technology filled the gaps for skill and talent.

    This article describes three advances in science and technology that have increased the popularity of plastic surgery by reducing unwanted aftermath and increasing the probability of customer satisfaction.

    Microsurgery

    Microsurgery involves more noninvasive forms of surgery that do not leave the patient's skin scarred and damaged. Using small incisions along with tiny cameras known as endoscopes, surgeons can augment or reduce without leaving a mark. Other noninvasive methods include VASERlipo, which removes unwanted fat using ultrasound technology.

    Several medical doctors including Dr. Mitchell Kim who has undergone the procedure himself, are leading experts in utilizing the VASERlipo technology to help reshape and contour people's bodies.

    Bone, Nerve, and Tissue Regeneration

    With the advancement of medical science parts of the body that could never be repaired in the past can now be made to function again. These parts of the body include bones, nerves, and tissue. Doctors are able to recreate bone by using calcium-based structures that replace missing bone for reconstructing a part of the body. In addition, one basic component of nerves are axons.

    Axons are fibers that transmit nerve impulses to the brain. When nerves become damaged, this pathway is eliminated. By setting the nervous system into what is being coined as "repair mode", these missing axons can be regrown by the body. Lastly, tissue regeneration has seen a multitude of strategies for improvement.

    For example, one strategy is to take a pill that contains supplements that act as the vitamin equivalent for stem cells. Supplying stem cells with an abundance of nutrition quickens the pace of healing damaged tissue. Another example is the research that uses pluripotent stem cells, which are stem cells that do not yet have a specific function, and gives them instructions for how to function. The hold-up to this research is not extracting pluripotent stem cells, but informing them regarding how to function.

    Computer Modelling

    Computers have applications in almost every aspect of human interaction. Whether it is storing data or calculating predictions, computers are undoubtedly the future of many healthcare technologies. So far, three dimensional computer models have played a role in the data acquisition, planning, surgery, and assessment steps of plastic surgery.

    A few implications have been less operating time, fewer surgical mistakes, and thus higher customer satisfaction. As well, three dimensional models open the door to three dimensional printing. Three dimensional printing reduces the cost of printing bone or tissue scaffolds which has applications in all of plastic surgery including facial reconstruction.

    This article described three advancements in science and technology that improve the outcomes of plastic surgery and bio-regeneration. The popularity of plastic surgery has seen an upward shift with the advent of microsurgery, bone, nerve, and tissue regeneration, and computer modelling. The future of plastic surgery will only grow as these tools and methods become even easier to implement, increase predictive accuracy, and become more cost efficient.