What is Facial Plastic Surgery?
Facial plastic surgeons are physicians who provide surgical or medical treatment to change the appearance of the face, head, or neck. We communicate a great deal through tiny, natural movements of the face, so the work of a facial plastic surgeon requires an unusually high level of skill.
Facial plastic surgeons provide a number of treatment options, such as:
Cosmetic surgery, intended to enhance the appearance. These procedures are usually considered elective, although they can be psychologically very important to patients. Cosmetic procedures seek to increase physical beauty, and can include facelifts, liposuction, and nose jobs.
Reconstructive surgery, to correct the appearance. Often these procedures are considered medically necessary and treat patients who are experiencing negative effects due to an aspect of their appearance. Procedures that can be considered reconstructive may include the removal of birthmarks and scars, repairs after serious accidents, and the correction of problems such as cleft palate.
Medical treatments that do not involve surgery. This category of procedures includes Botox, wrinkle treatments, injectable fillers, or medical skin products.
Facial plastic surgeons may have trained as plastic surgeons first, but most physicians who specialize in facial plastic surgery actually begin as otolaryngologists, or ear, nose, and throat doctors. A large part of the training that all otolaryngologists receive in medical school involves surgery on the face, and facial plastic surgery is considered the largest subspecialty of otolaryngology.
The field of facial plastic surgery is changing rapidly, with new advances in the past few years, such as laser therapy, minimally invasive surgery, and microsurgery. Facial plastic surgeons are able to use this knowledge to help you feel confident about the face you present to the world.
Otolaryngologists are also called 'ENTs' because their area of specialty is the ears, nose, and throat. Otolaryngologists treat most of the diseases and disorders that affect the head or neck. They can provide routine medical care, such as giving hearing tests or treating chronic conditions such as allergies. Otolaryngologists also perform a number of surgeries on the head and neck. Some of the illnesses and issues that otolaryngologists treat include:
Ear problems - hearing loss, infections, tinnitus or ringing on the ears, balance disorders, trauma or fracture of the temporal bone, prominent or large ears (using 'ear pinning' plastic surgery)
Nose issues - sinus infections, allergies, nasal polyps, smell disorders
Throat issues - voice and swallowing problems, infections or trauma to the larynx or esophagus, sleep disorders (such as sleep apnea)
Head and neck problems - infections, trauma, tumors, conditions requiring plastic surgery
Because they perform so many delicate surgeries of the face, otolaryngologists are often sought out as plastic surgeons when facial surgery is required. Their specialized knowledge of the anatomy of the head and face can make a real difference in the outcome of a surgery, from a brow lift to a total facial reconstruction after trauma.
What is Allergy & Immunology?
A physician who specializes in allergies, asthma, and other disorders of the immune system is called an allergist-immunologist or simply an allergist. Allergic reactions can cause a huge number of symptoms in the body, and allergy-immunology specialists treat a wide variety of problems, including:
Allergies affecting the respiratory tract, such as allergic rhinitis (hay fever) or asthma.
Allergies affecting the skin, such as eczema, hives, welts, and allergic rashes.
Adverse reactions to substances such as foods, drugs and vaccines, or stinging insects.
Autoimmune diseases, where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues. Some examples are rheumatoid arthritis, where the immune system attacks the joints; celiac disease, where the lining of the small intestine is damaged; and Sjogren’s syndrome, where the glands producing tears and saliva are attacked.
Certain diseases of the immune system, such as antibody deficiencies, primary immunodeficiency disease, or in some cases, HIV.
During a visit to an allergist-immunologist, the physician may perform allergy testing to identify which substances are causing the allergic reactions. An important part of the care they provide is prevention education, where patients with allergies learn how to decrease their exposure to problematic substances and control their symptoms of allergic reaction. Allergists might prescribe medication, such as inhaled corticosteroids or beta agonists for asthma. They may also provide immunotherapy, where small amounts of the problem allergen are given via injection to the patient and the amount is increased slowly over time. The shots help the body get used to the allergen and train the immune system to react appropriately to it without causing problem symptoms.
Immune disorders can range from making patients uncomfortable to being life-threatening, and they are becoming more common. Allergy-Immunology is a quickly growing field.
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