Plastic surgery is a medical specialty concerned with the correction or restoration of form and function. While famous for aesthetic surgery, plastic surgery also includes many types of reconstructive surgery. The word "plastic" derives from the Greek word “plastikos” meaning to mould or to shape; its use here is not connected with the synthetic polymer material known as plastic.

Cosmetic surgery is performed to reshape normal structures of the body in order to improve the patient's appearance and self-esteem. Cosmetic surgery is usually not covered by health insurance because it is elective.

Reconstructive surgery is performed on abnormal structures of the body, caused by congential defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors or disease. It is generally performed to improve function, but may also be done to approximate a normal appearance. Reconstructive surgery is generally covered by most health insurance policies although coverage for specific procedures and levels of coverage may vary greatly.

There are a number of "gray areas" in coverage for plastic surgery that sometimes require special consideration by an insurance carrier. These areas usually involved surgical operations which may be reconstructive or cosmetic, depending on each patient's situation. For example, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) - a procedure normally performed to achieve cosmetic improvement may be covered if the eyelids are drooping severely and obscuring a patient's vision.

Yes. In 1998 that federal breast reconstruction law was passed that requires insurance to cover breast reconstruction.

All American Society of Plastic Surgeon (ASPS) members are committed to patient safety. As a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Dr. Puri is required to only operate at surgical facilities that meet strict standards for quality and safety. All procedures, other than those requiring only a local anesthetic and/or mild oral sedation, must be done at surgical facilities that are certified by one of the following organizations:

  • Accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF)
  • Accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC)
  • Accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO)
  • Certified to participate in the Medicare program under title XVIII
  • A License by the state in which the facility operates.

In general, accreditation requires a facility to:

  • Allow surgery to be performed only by an ABMS-certified or board eligible surgeon who has privileges to perform the same procedures at a local, accredited hospital
  • Provide anesthesia by a board-certified or board-eligible anesthesiologist or certified nurse anesthetist
  • Maintain a staff of certified surgical technicians, registered nurses or licensed practical nurses who are trained in ACLS and to recognize the signs of cardiac or respiratory distress
  • Adhere to all local, state and national regulations including sanitation, fire safety and building codes
  • Adhere to all federal laws and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations including blood-borne pathogen and hazardous waste standards
  • Use and practice advanced monitoring for patient safety during surgery and immediate recovery

Not all operating rooms are certified. Many non-ASPS members operate at non-accredited facilities because they do not have to follow ASPS bylaws. This could save some money, but may compromise patient safety. Procedures that require only a local anesthetic and/or mild oral sedation can be done in the office.

Any time a cut or incision is made in the skin, a scar is left behind that will be permanent. Anyone that says that they can make an incision and not leave a scar is not telling the truth. Plastic surgeons have received special training and have extensive experience with minimizing the size of scars and locating them in the most inconspicuous areas possible.