Plastic surgery is a vast area of medicine that encompasses many procedures. The field is traditionally divided into two categories: reconstructive and cosmetic.

It is imperative that you know into which group your perspective surgery falls in order that you are prepared for the cost. Sometimes the two categories overlap, but the main consideration is whether or not the procedure is a medical need or is the result of a medical need.

Reconstructive procedures are usually billable to insurance which means that these operations are considered medical needs. If a natural ability is being hindered or if a trauma or accident has caused a cosmetic need, you may be able to claim the procedure on your health insurance.

The most common reconstructive surgery is a breast reconstruction due to a mastectomy. Women who have survived cancer and undergone this breast removing procedure who wish to have a reconstruction are likely to be able to claim the procedure as a medical need because it was ultimately induced by a medical need. Burn surgery is another area that walks the line between cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. Burn patients must have surgeries to graft the exposed areas, but it is sometimes simultaneous that the scars are cosmetically treated as well.

Hand surgery also falls into the expertise of a plastic surgery. Reconstructions undergone due to congenital conditions such as cleft lips and palates, facial or skull abnormalities, and hand or foot malformations will be considered non-cosmetic if the condition was endangering the patient in any way, for example if a cleft lip or a short frenula was inhibiting a child’s ability to nurse or take a bottle or consume other nutrition. Carpal tunnel or other hand syndromes may be corrected with the help of a professional in the field as we. Removal of certain types of moles or skin lesions may also be done by a plastic surgeon.

Cosmetic surgeries are purely elective or non-medically necessary. At the top of the list for decades has been the breast augmentation or implant surgery and/or the mastoplexy or lift. Nose jobs, also called rhinoplasty, are usually considered elective though a broken nose or a deviated septum can sometimes result in a reconstruction that is unintentionally cosmetic.

The list of elective cosmetic operations and procedures is nearly infinite with numerous dealing with the face alone, and with the growing popularity of embracing transgender operations, the list of possibilities for total body transformation is growing rapidly. If there is any part of your body that you are mildly displeased with, you can bet that there is a procedure to be had to help you regain your self-confidence.

When considering plastic or reconstructive surgery, be sure to take the professional advice of your plastic surgery professional. He will help you make choices that are better suited to your body both aesthetically and medically. You should also do thorough research on the investment involved. Do not wait to get the declined billing letter to realize that your reconstruction is considered elective; fight the good fight before going under the knife.

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