Introduction to Plastic Surgery
Plastic surgery is a multi-faceted specialty that combines form, function, technique, and principle. Plastic surgery may encompass any area of the body not only the skin. While the details of various procedures are important, the basic principles allow plastic surgeons to solve unusual problems and apply known procedures to any body part. This broad principle can be applied to a simple scar revision or a complex breast reconstruction.
Plastic surgery is the only field in medicine in which art and science combine. For the aesthetic or cosmetic plastic surgeon, perhaps the predominant factor is the art. Cosmetic plastic is the aspect of surgery in which concentration and interest are focused on the restoration and improvement of forms as well as function. The problems that plastic surgeons encounter may result from aging, congenital defect, trauma, and prior surgical procedure that have a profound effect on human emotion or psychological structure. Aesthetic plastic surgery, though admittedly done on occasion to rehabilitate a particular part of the body, is mainly performed to rehabilitate the entire person. It stands that an improvement in a person's appearance also improves the person's self-image. This, in turn, provides a feeling of emotional and physical well-being.
It takes a minimum of six years of formal training in burns, aesthetic, and reconstructive surgery at an accredited institution after medical school before a physician could call himself a plastic surgeon. This would include three to five years of general surgery program and three years of burns, cosmetic/aesthetic, and reconstructive plastic surgery training. In the Philippines, there are only a handful of medical institutions that offer an accredited training program and are recognized by the Philippine College of Surgeons (PCS), the Philippine Board of Plastic Surgery (PBPS), and the Philippine Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (PAPRAS). These accredited training institutions include the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH), University of Santo Tomas (UST), ) University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center, Makati Medical Center, Veterans Memorial Medical Center, Rizal Medical Center (comprising CONSORTIUM I), Far Eastern University, St. Luke's Medical Center, Lourdes Hospital, and Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center (comprising CONSORTIUM II).
In the Philippines, the Philippine Association of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgeons (PAPRAS) is recognized by the Philippine College of Surgeons and the Philippine Medical Association to monitor and regulate the practice of cosmetic surgery. However, because of the increasing demand or interest in cosmetic surgery, there are a lot of people who perform cosmetic surgery procedures without adequate cosmetic or plastic surgery training. Patients are therefore advised to ask around and be properly and thoroughly informed regarding the procedures they desire, whether it be cosmetic or reconstructive in nature.