Programs and Services
Reconstructive Surgery Procedures
Reconstructive surgery is performed on abnormal structures of the body, caused by congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors or disease. It is generally performed to improve functions, but may also be done to approximate a normal appearance. Reconstructive surgery is generally covered by most health insurance policies, although coverage for specific procedures and levels of coverage may vary greatly. (Descriptions of most procedures are provided courtesy of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.)
Click on the links below to get more detailed information about each procedure. Most links go to the Web site of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Brachial Plexus Repair
Injury to the brachial plexus occurs when these nerves are damaged at the neck or shoulder level. The injury is usually caused by stretching, tearing or other trauma to the nerves. In the Brachial Plexus Clinic at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin and at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, multidisciplinary teams specialize in the evaluation and treatment of a variety of brachial plexus injuries.
While there are many options available in post-mastectomy reconstruction, you and your surgeon should discuss the one that's best for you. Learn more about new alternatives in breast reconstruction in our Highlights section.
Techniques for breast reduction vary, but the most common procedure involves an anchor-shaped incision that circles the areola, extends downward, and follows the natural curve of the crease beneath the breast.
Cleft Lip Surgery
The repair to a cleft lip, involves a surgeon making an incision on either side of the cleft from the mouth into the nostril. Muscle function and the normal "cupid's bow" shape of the mouth are restored. The nostril deformity often associated with cleft lip may also be improved at the time of lip repair or in a later surgery.
Cleft Palate Surgery
Cleft Palate Surgery rebuilds the palate, joining muscle together and providing enough length in the palate so the child can eat and learn to speak properly.
Male breast reduction (Gynecomastia)
Reduces enlarged, female-like breast in men using liposuction and/or cutting out excess glandular tissue. (Sometimes covered by medical insurance.)
Plastic surgeons can usually restore comfort, mobility, and normal appearance to patients with hand problems.
Scar Revision (Surgical treatment for scars)
Scars -whether they're caused by accidents or by surgery- are unpredictable. The way a scar develops depends as much on how your body heals as it does on the original injury or on the surgeon's skills.
Hypertrophic scars, however, remain within the boundaries of the original incision or wound. They often improve on their own-though it may take a year or more-or with the help of steroid applications or injections.
Burns or other injuries resulting in the loss of a large area of skin may form a scar that pulls the edges of the skin together, a process called contraction. The resulting contracture may affect the adjacent muscles and tendons, restricting normal movement.
There are several ways to make a facial scar less noticeable. Often it is simply cut out and closed with tiny stitches, leaving a thinner, less noticeable scar.
Z-plasty is a surgical technique used to reposition a scar so that it more closely conforms to the natural lines and creases of the skin, where it will be less noticeable. It can also relieve the tension caused by contracture.
Skin Grafting and Flap Surgery
Skin grafts and flaps are more serious than other forms of scar surgery. They're more likely to be performed in a hospital as inpatient procedures, using general anesthesia. The treated area may take several weeks or months to heal, and a support garment or bandage may be necessary for up to a year.
Skin Cancer Removal
Most skin cancers are removed surgically, by a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist. If the cancer is small, the procedure can be done quickly and easily, in an outpatient facility or the physician's office, using local anesthesia.
Tissue Expansion (Creating new skin from existing skin)
Tissue expansion is a procedure that enables the body to "grow" extra skin by stretching adjacent tissue.
The Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain Services team at Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin is dedicated to safely reducing post-oopeative pain and discomfort while minimizing side effects.
Last Review Date: Aug. 9, 2011