In addition to correcting a disfigurement, plastic surgery is often needed to restore vital movement and function of tissues that have been destroyed. It is also performed for purely cosmetic purposes, such as improving the shape of a nose, bringing outstanding ears closer to the head, or lifting the skin to erase wrinkles, and the term cosmetic surgery is often used to refer to such surgical procedures. Modern plastic surgeons often employ CAT scans to produce computer-generated images that are used to plan or simulate complex reconstructive surgeries, and 3D printers have been used to create implants for such surgeries.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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