Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

The word “plastic” is derived its from the Greek word “plastikos”, which means to mold, form or reconstruct. In performing reconstructive surgery, Plastic & Hand Surgical Associates physicians often work closely with physicians of other specialties.

Cleft Lip and Palate

Cleft lip and palate surgery improves disfigurement and function in young patients with these birth defects. In treating patients with cleft lip and palate, the plastic surgeon takes a leadership role, helping to coordinate care provided by other members of a multi-disciplinary team. Specialties represented include oral surgery, otolaryngology, speech pathology, orthodontics and genetics. In addition, Plastic & Hand Surgical Associates works closely with Maine’s Department of Human Services to provide care for some of these patients.

Breast Reduction

Breast reduction surgery reduces the size of large breasts and reshapes their contour. There are at times medical indications for breast reduction surgery which may include relief of neck-, shoulder- and back strain-related breast weight. At other times breast reduction is performed for cosmetic reasons alone. When medically indicated, insurance may approve coverage for the procedure. Often this surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, on-site at our day surgery facility. Anesthesia is provided by the Spectrum Medical Group, the physician group that provides anesthesia at Maine Medical Center and Mercy Hospital.

During a consultation at Plastic & Hand Surgical Associates, patients are evaluated and educated regarding the available procedures for breast reduction surgery, and, if appropriate, a surgical plan is developed.

Click to visit our Before & After Gallery of Plastic & Hand patients’ breast reduction photos.

Reconstruction Following Cancer and Trauma

• Breast Cancer Reconstruction

The surgeons at Plastic & Hand have been providing reconstructive care for women with breast cancer for more than 35 years. Breast reconstruction continues to be one of the most dynamic segments of our practice. The techniques for immediate and delayed reconstruction continue to evolve and improve. Our physicians regularly attend and participate in local and national conferences so that we are able to provide the most up-to-date and comprehensive reconstructive care for our patients. A wide range of reconstructive options are available.

To view photos of patients who have received breast reconstruction surgery at Plastic & Hand Surgical Associates, click here.

In our consultations, each of the available options for reconstruction is reviewed. Choices include using a patient’s own tissue, using prosthetic materials, or a combination of these techniques. Often procedures of the opposite (non-cancer) breast are required to optimize symmetry.  An individualized plan is devised for each patient.  Often the plan involves immediate reconstruction (beginning reconstruction at the time of the mastectomy).  We also provide delayed reconstruction (reconstruction for women that have already had their mastectomy).

Currently we are actively involved with the Maine Medical Center, Mercy Hospital and Southern Maine Health Care Breast Centers, providing urgent consultations for women with a new diagnosis.  We attend the tumor boards at these centers and participate in the multidisciplinary care decisions required to provide our breast cancer patients with optimal outcomes.

Click to visit the Maine Medical Center Breast Care Center page to learn more.

Click to visit Mercy Hospital’s Breast Care Health page to learn more.

Click to visit the Southern Maine Health Care Center for Breast Health page to learn more.

Click to visit the breast reconstruction page of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons to learn more.

• Skin Cancer Reconstruction

At Plastic & Hand Surgical Associates, a comprehensive approach is taken to the removal and surgical treatment of cancerous and precancerous skin lesions, utilizing facilities in our day surgery center, or in the hospital.

Frozen Section Removal of Skin Cancer in our Western Avenue Day Surgery Center

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 8.39.36 AMFrozen section tissue examination is the technique used by the pathologist in our laboratory to immediately examine skin cancers removed by our physicians. An advantage to Plastic & Hand’s frozen section technique is that a board-certified pathologist, on-site in a special laboratory, examines our patients’ specimens right away. Our Plastic & Hand surgeons are then able to perform an immediate closure reconstruction at the same time as the removal.

In our Western Avenue Day Surgery Center or our special procedure rooms, the patient has the lesion removed by the surgeon and evaluated by the pathologist during the same operative session. If a flap or a skin graft is required for closure, the surgeons at Plastic & Hand can take care of that closure at the same time.

• Other Trauma Reconstruction

Reconstruction of leg and arm injuries and burns is sometimes required following accidents. We work together with the patient’s orthopaedic surgeon to ensure optimal care and results. The surgeons of Plastic & Hand Surgical Associates are an integral part of Maine Medical Center’s trauma team for the multiply injured patient and provide full-time coverage to the Maine Medical Center and Mercy Hospital Emergency Departments. They are also on staff at New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland. 

Microscopic Surgery

The surgeons of Plastic & Hand Surgical Associates are fully trained in microscopic surgery, which allows the transplantation of tissues in difficult reconstruction problems. Microscopic surgery can also be necessary for the optimal treatment of injured nerves and blood vessels.