Plastic Surgery crucial to any health care system
– visiting U.S. surgeon stresses
Certain aspects of plastic surgery are absolutely important in any health care system, a notion which has been emphasised by reputable United States-based Plastic Surgeon, Dr Geoffrey Osgood.
Dr Osgood, who has been practising for more than two decades, was during the past week among a group of experts who were volunteering their skills at the St Joseph Mercy Hospital as part of a medical mission.
During an interview with this publication, Dr Osgood explained the importance of plastic surgery even as he made reference to its need to address conditions caused by deformities, burns, trauma, accidents and even assaults and tumours. His expertise also extends to cosmetic surgery.
The medical mission, which was orchestrated by the Catholic-driven Sisters of Mercy Organisation in collaboration with the St Joseph Mercy Hospital, saw a total of eight professionals offering their services. In his capacity as plastic surgeon, Dr Osgood earlier in the week said that his intention was to screen about 40 patients and perform about 15 operations.
His time here saw him attending to patients with burn scars and according to him there are times when a burn scar can over-heal, resulting in what is termed keloid scars and “that can be quite distorting even causing distortion to other areas of function.”
Some scars can even limit elbow straightening and Dr Osgood recounted attending to one small boy with a scar on his face among others that were affected. He also recalled examining another individual with infected scars which required draining, even as he spoke of a little girl with a scar to her elbow which needed to be released in order to allow her arm to straighten.
“There were some other individuals with tissue in an area that it doesn’t belong, for instance breast tissue under the armpit where it sticks out and we need to remove that,” Dr Osgood disclosed.
Some procedures, according to him, can take as little as one hour while others can last for some five hours. Patients are usually under anaesthetic during such operations, he noted.
However, Dr Osgood made a point of outlining that although a few patients would have benefited surgically, the recent mission was merely an exploratory one.
“It is an exploration to see what kind of assistance we can give in addition to education services… This is the first time for us here and we are hoping to see what services we can provide to see what is helpful to assist the whole mission purpose and we hope we are welcome back to be able to help out some more,” Dr Osgood added.
Speaking of his practice in the United States, the Plastic Surgeon said that he is on staff at three hospitals and privately practices full reconstruction and cosmetic surgical operations to correct various issues. His practice in the US also sees him performing plastic surgery operations on patients with skin cancer, and according to him, Caucasians have a much higher incidence of skin cancer. He also offers his expertise to women who would have had breast removal due to cancer.
“I am a plastic surgeon; meaning I can address areas in the body in both shape and function as well as the appearance for self esteem…the cosmetic purposes, too, but I am fully trained in hand reconstruction, tumour reconstruction for the outside portion, the skin and bony and muscular skeletal systems, burn scars problem and traumatic injuries,” Dr Osgood explained.
He disclosed that plastic surgery is recognised as needful, especially when some injuries heal and scars shrink, hence “those can be released through surgical procedures to get back the function of an arm or body part that is distorted.”