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Reconstructive surgery restores the form and function of a body part. Although it may also improve the aesthetics of a body part, this is not necessarily its primary usage. Reconstruction is typically used to repair and restore structural abnormalities that may be congenital or the result of disease, trauma, infection or burns.

What are some of the procedures for reconstructive plastic surgery?

Specific procedures vary, depending on the reconstruction that is being undertaken.

For example, breast reconstruction after a mastectomy is quite different from reconstructing areas of the face that have suffered from skin cancer, repairing a torn earlobe or cleft palate, rebuilding a cheekbone after the trauma of an auto accident, or minimizing a scar so that it blends in better with the surrounding tissue and is less conspicuous. Some of the areas that can be surgically corrected include:

  • Skin cancer reconstruction
  • Facial trauma reconstruction
  • Nose, ear, cheek, reconstruction
  • Earlobe repair
  • Scar revision

Is there a common technique for reconstructive surgery?

While the specifics may vary greatly, reconstruction typically involves rebuilding the area to be repaired, then molding or shaping it. One of various “flap techniques” may be used to replace tissue loss over virtually any part of the body.

A flap is a piece of “live” tissue that is still attached to the body by a major blood vessel. It is comprised of skin, fatty tissue and sometimes muscle. This flap is grafted onto or set into the target site.

Facial Reconstruction San Jose

What are the different types of flaps?

The two main categories are local flaps and free flaps:

Local flap: A local flap comes from a part of the body adjacent to the area needing the tissue and remains connected to the body during the first part of the surgery. There are four types of local flaps, named to describe the type of motion or rotation used to position them so they can be positioned for use in the recipient site, usually without interrupting the blood supply.

Free flap: A free flap is tissue that comes from another part of the body, is detached, then transplanted at the recipient site.

What is an example of the difference between plastic and reconstructive surgery?

A rhinoplasty (rhino- combining form, meaning nose, from the Greek; -plasty combining form, meaning molding, from the Greek)) can straighten the bridge of the nose or recontour it for a more pleasing profile. This would not be considered a medical necessity.

If a patient was having difficulty breathing because of a deviated septum (a condition in which the cartilage that separates the nostrils is obstructing the nasal passages). In such a case, a septoplasty (septo-, from the Latin for fence) would be called for and considered a medical necessity.

Why choose Cheng Plastic Surgery?

Did you know that any MD with an extra year of training can call himself or herself a cosmetic surgeon? A board-certified facial plastic surgeon, on the other hand, committed to an additional six years of advanced and rigorous education and training to ultimately become a member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Both Dr. Elbert and Dr. Jacqueline Cheng are double board-certified, meaning they have an additional specialty in head and neck surgery. You can rely on them to provide the highest standards of care.

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Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at (408) 741-9982.

Practice Policy Update from Cheng Plastic Surgery Regarding COVID-19 View Update Virtual Consultation

Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Monday, January 4, 2021:

We are open!

We cannot wait to see all of our amazing patients in our office! We are currently working with a more limited schedule than before, so please be patient as we navigate through this, together.

There are a few key changes we’ve made to our appointment protocol to ensure we are maintaining social distancing and following strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols - for you AND for us.

  1. Call our office from your car once you’ve arrived for your appointment. A staff member will come out to greet you, take your temperature and conduct a short COVID-19 health screening to make sure you are in good health prior to entering the building. Our doors will remain locked during normal business hours to ensure only those who have been screened can enter.
  2. Please arrive at your appointment wearing a mask or protective face covering. We will not be able to bring you inside the office without one.
  3. We will not have more than one patient in the lobby at a time.
  4. You will be greeted by Dr. Elbert or Dr. Jacqueline wearing their Personal Protective Equipment deemed necessary by your specific treatment. (N95 mask, gloves, face shield or protective eyewear, etc.) We ask that you leave your mask on during the procedure, and only take it off if necessary to complete the treatment.
  5. All necessary transactions will be done in the room your treatment is being performed. This will avoid unnecessary back ups in the lobby.
  6. You will then be walked out through the back door of the office. This is the best way to keep all staff and patients socially distanced while maintaining one steady flow of traffic throughout the building.

And of course, all rooms will be heavily disinfected immediately after you leave just as we have always done prior to the pandemic. Each room is equipped with an air filter as an added safety measure. We will place a major focus on high-contact areas such as chairs, doorknobs, counter tops, mirrors and more.

We are still continuing to conduct Virtual Consultations if you prefer a quicker and no-contact experience.

Virtual Consultation

For the safety of our patients and staff, we ask that you reschedule your appointment and do not enter our office with any of the following conditions:

  1. You have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  2. You have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  3. You traveled more than 150 miles or have been in close contact with someone who has traveled in the last 10 days.
  4. You are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
    • fever or chills
    • cough
    • shortness of breath
    • fatigue
    • muscle or body aches
    • headaches
    • sore throat
    • loss of taste or smell
    • nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting

Concerned about getting the Moderna vaccine after having recently received filler treatment? In some studies, it has been observed that a small percentage of the vaccinated groups experienced localized inflammation (swelling) after receiving the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine. In said cases, all studied reactions were temporary immune responses. It has been suggested that patients refrain from getting filler two weeks before and after the vaccine. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our office!

Thank you for your continued support and we can't wait to see you again!

Kindest Regards,,

Dr. Elbert, Dr. Jacqueline and staff at Cheng Plastic Surgery

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