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What is plastic surgery?

Mr Gore in surgical clothing in an operating theatre at The Manor Hospital, Oxford

When people ask me this question, I explain that plastic surgery is a wide-ranging surgical specialty that encompasses a broad range of conditions, techniques and solutions. Unlike other surgical specialties, it is a specialty based around techniques that are applied to all ages, all areas of the body and numerous conditions.

Plastic surgeons are creative in their approach to surgical problems. We pride ourselves on achieving predictable outcomes with minimal downtime, optimal scarring and limited lifestyle disruption.

Ultimately plastic surgeons do four things

In our practice we:

  • treat disease,
  • facilitate wound healing,
  • improve function and
  • enhance appearance all over the body.

The cosmetic and reconstructive elements of plastic surgery are both built on a foundation of years of training, reflective learning and formal accreditation. Various situations demand different combinations of these factors; cosmetic surgery, of course, focuses heavily on improvement of shape and appearance.

What is the difference between plastic surgeons and other surgeons?

Whilst there is much overlap between plastic surgeons and other specialists in many areas, plastic surgeons pride themselves on a finesse approach to the craft of surgery and to maximising benefits from operations in terms of healing, function and appearance. Furthermore, there are many overlaps between reconstructive plastic surgery and aesthetic plastic surgery; aesthetic plastic surgery is essentially an extension of reconstructive surgery but with particular focus on improving appearance.

My approach to plastic surgery embodies a commitment to delivering world class practice in Oxford and the UK. It has a strong focus rooted in cancer surgery and its reconstruction, lymphoedema corrective surgery and cosmetic surgery of the face, breast and torso.

Last modified: 23/02/2021