For many years, both women and men around the world have turned to plastic surgery to correct unflattering features on the body and face. However, not many people know that plastic surgery can also improve medical conditions. Rhinoplasty can correct a deviated septum, which causes patients to have trouble breathing, and liposuction can correct gynecomastia, a condition which causes enlarged male breasts.
There is also a branch of plastic surgery that can help patients who have been involved in accidents or who have a physical deformity that cannot be corrected with regular treatments. This method is referred to as reconstructive plastic surgery.
Through innovative techniques, reconstructive plastic surgery has been able to improve the quality of life for patients. And for one young girl, plastic surgery has saved her life.
Fifteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai was the victim of a brutal Taliban terrorist attack in her home country of Pakistan in October. Yousafzai was shot in the head while protesting for a woman’s right to have an education and was left for dead on the streets.
After the incident was reported, Yousafzai was transported to a local hospital where surgery was performed to remove the bullet, which had been lodged in her shoulder. She was placed on a ventilator and many wondered if she would even survive.
Yet, a determined Yousafzai is recovering extremely well today, and it is partially because of reconstructive plastic surgery.
When Yousafzai was shot, the bullet went through her left eye, “grazing” her brain, and traveled down the side of her jaw, through her neck, then lodged above her left shoulder blade. The bullet caused severe cranial damage, which doctors in Pakistan were unable to fix, and Yousafzai was transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham (QEHB) in the UK, where she is currently undergoing therapy.
While her journey to recovery has not been easy or quick, a specialized teams of plastic surgeons, neurosurgeons, trauma specialists, and therapists at QEHB worked together to perform an innovative cranial reconstructive plastic surgery procedure that corrected the damage to Yousafzai’s skull.
The rigorous five-hour operation performed in February involved a complicated cranial reconstruction procedure and a cochlear implantation surgery. A custom titanium plate was placed in Yousafzai’s skull to repair the cranial damage and the cochlear implant was inserted in her left ear, which will help her regain hearing she lost as a result of the gunshot wound. While it can take up to 18 months for Yousafzai to recover her hearing in the ear, her doctors are confident that her hearing will return to nearly normal levels by that time, thanks to the innovative surgery.
Yousafzai continues to advocate for women’s rights and does not regret her actions the day she was shot. She waits for the day when she can speak out for equality once again, and thanks to the reconstructive procedure, Yousafzai will be able to do so.
Like with Yousafzai’s case, reconstructive plastic surgery can work miracles for the victims of accidents who struggle with debilitating injuries as well as patients who have suffered with natural defects.
It is plastic surgery that helped an 11-year-old girl after she was attacked by a pit bull during a family gathering last month. The little girl sustained extensive facial injuries after being bit by the dog, but underwent emergency facial reconstructive plastic surgery to correct the wounds that were created in the attack. Because of the surgery, this young girl will not have to grow up with scars from the animal attack.
There are many several reconstructive plastic surgery procedures available to patients, especially here in Dallas, TX.
Dr. Meade has helped restore the functionality and appearance of areas that have been disfigured or debilitated in patients who have been involved in an accident, trauma or who are seeking help for natural physical defects. Treatments are available to help burn victims that have suffered skin and tissue damage, injured patients who require bone surgery, patients who have undergone a mastectomy following cancer treatment, and can even help correct the results of botched surgeries.
If you reside in Dallas and are seeking treatment for an injury, wound or scar, contact Dr. Meade today to schedule a consultation and determine the best option for your recovery.