Most Common Reconstructive Plastic Surgeries

Sep 18, 2021 | Rhinoplasty

Reconstructive plastic surgery refers to procedures that are performed in order to correct an abnormality resulting from birth defects, disease, injury, or aging. The primary of reconstructive surgery is usually to improve function, but plastic surgeons also focus on enhancing appearance to improve the patient’s sense of self-image and confidence. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, which publishes official annual rankings of the top plastic surgery procedures, there were 6.8 million reconstructive surgeries in the United States in 2020. This page highlights the 6 most common of these procedures.

1. Tumor removal

This is a procedure to remove part of a patient’s body in order to treat cancer. Tumor removal remains the foundation of cancer treatments around the world. This procedure helps remove cancerous tissue particularly in cases where the cancer is localized and has not spread to other parts of the body. Tumor removal may be followed by or used together with other cancer treatments, such a radiation therapy or chemotherapy. In 2020, there were nearly 5.2 million tumor removal procedures completed in the United States.

2. Laceration repair

Everyday shallow, small, and clean wounds often do not need specialized medical care and may be resolved using antibiotic ointments or other over-the-counter medication. But some serious wounds resulting from infection, scarring, excessive bleeding, poor wound closure, or problems from anesthesia may need special care. This is more so true if the wound exposes tendon, muscle, fat, or bone. Wounds that have dirt or debris, still bleed after applying pressure for over 10 minutes, are in high-stress areas such as the hands or joints, or that are more than 1/8 of an inch in depth often need laceration repair surgery. While this procedure may be performed by a general surgeon, the plastic surgeon utilizes their training and expertise to minimize scarring and ensure a pleasing aesthetic outcome. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that American plastic surgeons performed a whopping 386,710 laceration repair reconstructive procedures in 2020.

3. Scar revision

Scar revisions are reconstructive surgical procedures that are performed on an existing scar. The goal of the procedure is to restore function to a party of the body and often also improve the appearance of the scar. It is important to note that scars cannot be entirely removed. Plastic surgeons use advanced surgical techniques to ensure a successful and pleasant outcome without the risk of further scarring. There were about 263,643 scar revision procedures completed in the U.S. in 2020, making this the third most common reconstructive surgery.

4. Maxillofacial surgery

This is a reconstructive surgery that focuses on the oral cavity, mouth, jaws, as well as neck, and face. This reconstructive procedure often needs to be performed by a specialized professional such as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Plastic surgery training is also important to ensure that the surgeon ensures a pleasant outcome after correcting the abnormality. More than 256,000 maxillofacial reconstructive surgeries were completed in the United States last year (2020).

5. Hand surgery

Reconstructive hand surgery aims to help patients overcome joint deformities and hand injuries caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, and other disorders. Typical wear and tear over time could also result in pain and other hand problems that may be helped using this procedure. Hand reconstruction procedures need to be performed by a seasoned plastic surgeon who has the requisite training and experience. In 2020, there were 206,928 of these procedures completed within the country.

6. Breast reconstruction

Many women who have had a mastectomy or lumpectomy as part of cancer treatment or prevention choose to have breast reconstruction. This treatment can help make a woman feel whole again and increase their sense of self-confidence after cancer treatment. Plastic surgeons typically use breast implants during reconstructive breast procedures, but may also use tissue flaps donated from the patient’s own body (for eligible women). There were 137,808 breast reconstruction surgeries completed in the country last year, making this the sixth most common (reconstructive) surgery.


Unlike cosmetic procedures, reconstructive surgery is more of a necessity than a choice for most patients. Taking the time to conduct the research and identify the right New Jersey reconstruction surgeon for your procedure can go a long way to ensure a successful outcome.