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Surgery to correct disfigurement, restore function, or improve appearance. It may involve reshaping or moving tissues to fill a depression, cover a wound, or improve appearance. Cosmetic surgery solely to improve appearance is not the main focus of plastic surgery. It is utilized after disfigurement by burns or tumour removal or for reconstructive work, and it may involve hiding incisions in skin folds or using buried sutures to hold wounds closed. Reconstructive plastic surgery corrects severe functional impairments, fixes physical abnormalities, and compensates for tissue lost to trauma or surgery. Microsurgery and computerized diagnostic imaging techniques have revolutionized the field.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on plastic surgery, visit Britannica.com.