Asiri Blog

Plastic Surgery for Your Child

Sometimes, It is Essential!

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The phrase ‘plastic surgery’ usually evokes images of celebrities using cosmetic surgery to enhance their physical appearance through either a little nip ‘n’ tuck or sometimes more serious surgical work. Plastic Surgery, however, goes far beyond the scope of merely enhancing appearance, and is mostly used to improve the function or appearance of parts of the body through reconstructive or cosmetic medical procedures in surgical repair or restoration of an injured, lost, diseased, defective, or misshapen part or area of the body.

Paediatric plastic surgery, for one, is an important area in this field. All children fall ill or suffer an injury as part of the course of growing up. Most problems are solved by a paediatrician. However, there are times when the support of a plastic surgeon is required. Children with physical birth defects like cleft lips and palates, misshapen skulls, protruding or absent ears and webbed fingers or toes are a few cases in point. Early treatment of such conditions usually greatly enhances the long term quality of life of the child. Also traumatic injuries such as burns or dog bites can be corrected through plastic surgery.

Why correct a defect?

Among the many things that cause insecurities in children, their personal appearance plays a significant role, having a profound impact on their self-image and confidence. Children primarily just want to look normal and not stand out in a way that attracts adverse attention and in most cases severe teasing or bullying by their peers. For example, a child who has abnormally prominent ears may be called nicknames causing her immense emotional trauma. In such situations, well managed surgery, could positively impact a child’s personality for a life.

When a child’s self-confidence is knocked, it usually leads to a spate of other issues. Think poor performance, not playing well with others and closing themselves off and retreating into a shell. Every parents’ most basic wish for their child is that she (or he) turns out to be a well-rounded, happy person who integrates well in society. But, the fact remains that body consciousness grows as kids mature, more so, if they suffer from defects.

Furthermore, a child born with a defect such as webbed fingers/toes, a cleft palate or minus a limb, will find it tough to get through routine activities. But with corrective surgery, they go on to live a normal life. For example, when a cleft palate is rectified, with the help of speech therapy, a child will speak clearly. Or a child born with a deviated septum, may suffer much pain and discomfort, but when treated with surgery will be able to breath normally and live a full life.

How does it all go down?

As in all cases, plastic surgery, too, will involve the risks associated with anaesthesia, wound healing and complications related to the problem being addressed. According to Dr. Arunajith Amarasingha, a consultant plastic surgeon at Asiri Central Hospital, the doctors performing the surgery will explain in detail the procedure to both the child and the parents. “Often, we ask the child directly if she (or he) is happy to go ahead or has concerns,” explained Dr. Amarasingha.

Most procedures will require at least one post-op check-in with your doctor to ensure all is well. Often, if a child has been a victim of a burn or any other traumatic injury your doctor may refer her (or him) to a counsellor or psychologist to work through any residual emotional issues.

Procedures and healing times vary, so be sure to obtain from your doctor, all the clarity you require ahead of time. At the end of the day, plastic surgery isn’t something to be rushed into. Chat with your doctor, speak to your child and consider all facets of the situation before making your decision. After all, your sole objective is to ensure the best quality of life for your little one.

While there are now many providers for services of this nature, be sure to choose a facility that is certified and deemed safe. The Cosmetic Centre at Asiri Central Hospital offers plastic surgery for children with qualified and skilled surgeons. It is an accredited facility that is bound to reduce any apprehension you may feel about embarking on this course of action for your child.

Call them on +94 114 466 5500 for more information.