Cancer is a cruel and life-changing disease. It can strike anyone and anywhere at any given time. It takes a terrible toll on both the body and the mind, but it can be beaten. Although the various treatment techniques for cancer can be life-saving, they can also inflict considerable damage on the function or appearance of different parts of the body. Fortunately, reconstructive plastic surgery can help people with cancer recover from the physical scarring and damage caused by the disease.
Dr. Scottsdale has carried out extensive reconstructive surgeries on cancer patients. As a plastic surgeon with close to 10 years of experience, he believes it's part of his craft that the greater public is not so familiar with.
"When most people think of plastic surgery, they might think nose jobs, breast enhancement, or tummy tucks," explained the doctor. "There's a whole other side to plastic surgery which can have a dramatic effect on the health and well-being of cancer patients. This includes other individuals suffering from traumatic injuries and birth defects such as cleft lips and palates." Dr. Scottsdale believes that is the sort of surgery he finds most rewarding. It was one of the primary reasons he chose to specialize as a plastic surgeon.
Dr. Scottsdale was formerly in the U.S. Army. He has seen first-hand the effects bodily disfigurement can have on an individual's mental health and well-being. It is what compels him to go to third-world countries every year to perform cleft lip and palate surgeries for children. The doctor revealed, "I opted to become a plastic surgeon after I saw in medical school the superhuman range of techniques that could be performed. In particular, the work involved with carrying out reconstructive surgery on cancer patients is so important because it makes such an impact on their quality of life."
Breast reconstruction for people living with breast cancer is perhaps the most common plastic surgery procedure concerning the disease. Dr. Scottsdale explained, "That's just the tip of the iceberg. I've been involved with a range of cancer-related procedures where our job is to tackle every single body part imaginable that has been damaged by illness or treatment. We do this by moving tissue around the body and grafting it onto areas that have been afflicted. This is a standard procedure with head and neck cancers. There have been cases where surgeons have taken tissues from the leg to repair the throat."
With plastic surgery becoming more complex and nuanced with each passing decade, Dr. Scottsdale is proud to be a part of something he believes has been world changing. Before plastic surgery, many cancer patients would be left feeling like they have a defect after treatment. That is not the case anymore. Plastic surgeons are now able to restore them to their former glory and make them feel whole again. Dr. Scottsdale considers this the most gratifying part of his profession.