Surgery pp 2263-2286 | Cite as

Plastic Surgery

  • W. Thomas Lawrence
  • Adam Lowenstein


Plastic surgery has been defined as a field that involves the study of the skin and its contents (E.E. Peacock, Jr., personal communication). Although this description may seem overly broad, it accurately reflects the variety of patients and problems managed by plastic surgeons. In contrast to pediatrics or orthopedics, plastic surgery is not a field defined by patient age or anatomy. Instead, it is a field characterized by a method of managing problems. The name of the specialty, plastic surgery, derives from the Greek word plastikos, which means “to change or mold.” The theme of changing or molding is the common thread that binds the often diverse problems managed by plastic surgeons. The defects and abnormalities treated by plastic surgeons include congenital problems, traumatic injuries, skin cancers, defects created in the management of oncological problems, hand abnormalities, chronic wounds, and problems caused by aging. In managing all these problems, the purpose of plastic surgery is to change or mold to restore form and function.


Wound Closure Myocutaneous Flap Local Flap Free Tissue Transfer Fasciocutaneous Flap 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Thomas Lawrence
    • 1
  • Adam Lowenstein
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plastic SurgeryUniversity of Kansas Medical Center, Sutherland InstituteKansas CityUSA
  2. 2.Mendacito Center for Aesthetic Plastic SurgerySanta BarbaraUSA

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