Reconstructive surgery on rise more than cosmetic - GulfToday

Reconstructive surgery on rise more than cosmetic


The panelists at the announcement of the “5th Emirates Plastic Surgery Congress 2020” at Raffles Hotel in Dubai on Monday.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

Emirates Plastic Surgery Society (EPSS) president Dr. Zuhair Al Fardan said the demand for reconstructive surgery over cosmetic surgery has been on the rise in the last three to five years. He believes stakeholders should work together to address the ethical and safe requirements for the full recovery of the patients.

“It is (only in conversations) and in the media that the demand for cosmetic surgery is increasing. But, in reality, more reconstructive surgery is being done,” Al Fardan said, in response to the Gulf Today question from the Monday press conference.

The press conference announced the details of the Jan. 16 to 18, 2020 “5th Emirates Plastic Surgery Congress” (EPSC 2020) under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Minister of Finance, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and President of the Dubai Health Authority.

Al Fardan agreed plastic surgery is misinterpreted as only about physique and beauty enhancements.

It is for these reasons that for the first time, EPSC 2020, hosted by the 200-strong EPSS, the entire spectrum of plastic surgery is going to be discussed through lectures, workshops, and live surgery demonstrations, which plastic/reconstructive surgeons from anywhere in the world unable to attend, could join and even post questions to the resource speakers via the available live streaming at Raffles Hotel in Dubai.

Al Fardan lamented that majority of the reconstructive surgery patients he and his colleagues have been attending to of late have no means to pay for their emergency conditions that also need full rehabilitation support.

“It is either the patients do not have the money or they are not insured.”

A guest on the sidelines claimed there was one “blue collar person” who had presented himself at a hospital for a cut finger from the job site; but only got his wound cleaned and bandaged, because his insurance did not cover the necessary reconstructive surgery.

With these situations, Al Fardan and his colleagues are pushing for a stronger base of volunteers across the UAE willing to do “humanitarian” duties for patients coming out of accidents, emergencies, and even for the necessity but not for beauty purposes.

Currently are five volunteer plastic/reconstructive surgeons who have completed two cases.

Al Fardan expressed hope that more qualified/licensed healthcare and medical people, more hospitals with the appropriate facilities, and more companies for logistical provisions come forward to pitch in for the charitable cause.

Al Fardan said it would be good to see more medical students take the route to Plastic/Reconstructive Surgery: “We must first become (adept) to all the required reconstructive surgeries then we can become cosmetic surgeons. We need more reconstructive surgeons.”

Al Fardan was hopeful that health insurance companies become open to the patients’ needs which goes beyond the surgeries.

EPSC 2020-Scientific Committee chairman Dr. Sanjay Parashar said sessions are lined up for insurers and the plastic/reconstructive surgeons on how to improve the health insurance landscape for the best of the patients.

He cited that more than the restoration of a severed finger—which apparently is simple—but takes five hours to accomplish—all reconstructive surgery patients have to go through a series of psycho-physical-social therapies.

Interviewed, American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery Hospital chief executive officer/chief operating officer Dr. Adam Bader said that depending on the complexity of the case, reconstructive surgery spend may go as high as Dhs150,000.00.

“It is not the cost. We have children patients from 2012 until now because of the (continuing) procedures.”

Parashar said: “Traditionally plastic surgeons are either known as skin grafting surgeons or cosmetic surgeons doing only liposuction or tummy tuck. But plastic surgery is a vast discipline.”

Congress content are cleft and craniofacial surgery (congenital/acquired skull/face deformities and tumours) rhinoplasty and eye rejuvenation, breast and body contouring surgery, microvascular surgery (hands/face/breast/limbs reconstruction), burn and wound surgery, and patient education and treatment.

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