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Plastic Surgery Nursing

Plastic surgery nursing is defined as the caring for patients who receive cosmetic or plastic surgery procedures. Plastic surgery nursing is also referred to as "reconstructive surgery nursing." Patients undergo cosmetic procedures for a variety of reasons, but mostly to improve one's appearance or to correct defects. Many are elective procedures but some are medically necessary. Procedures can vary from relatively simple office procedures like chemical peels or laser resurfacing to major procedures such as reconstructive surgery requiring a well equipped surgical facility or hospital.

Non Surgical Procedures

  • Cellulite Removal
  • Mesotherapy
  • Lipodissolve
  • Lipo Ex
  • Laser Resurfacing
  • Vein Treatments (sclerotherapy)

Cosmetic Surgery Procedures

  • Liposuction
  • Laser Lipo
  • SmartLipo
  • Tummy Tuck
  • Breast Augmentation
  • Facelift

Reconstructive Surgery Procedures

  • Breast Reconstruction
  • Facial Recontruction
  • Moh's Skin Cancer Surgery
  • Craniosymostosis (Craniofacial Anomaly)
  • Cleft Lip, Cleft Palate

Nurses in this area of practice will administer care for a variety of diagnoses ranging from facial tumors and fractures, skin lesions, burns and ulcers, defects and deformities arising from birth or reconstructive surgery from cancer. Not only will nurses in this field administer care for these diagnoses, but also for a wide assortment of elective surgeries. Liposuction, tummy tucks, facelifts, brow lifts, and nonsurgical treatments to correct aesthetic problems are among some of the most popular procedures.

Skills and Duties Required

Patients who undergo maxillofacial surgery, laser surgery, cosmetic surgery or non-surgical treatment would be cared for by plastic surgery nurses. In addition to treatment and hands-on patient care, the job also requires effective communication skills. Patients will often be happy and will express their appreciation, but once in awhile there will be difficult patients with different expectations about results. A positive attitude is required, along with sensitivity to the patient's needs.

Options for the Plastic Surgery Nurse

Many plastic surgery nurses are also operating room nurses or scrub nurses, who work in the operating room together with surgeons and anesthesiologists. Some of the duties are preparing the operating room, sterilizing instruments and preparing patients for surgery. Nursing in this field also encompasses post-operative care such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy. There are many options for plastic surgery nurses. Today's increased growth of the health and beauty industry can create many opportunities for qualified nurses. As the demand increases for cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery nurses should be able to find work in doctor’s offices, hospitals, outpatient care centers and practices specializing in plastic surgery.

The plastic surgery nurse can also branch out into other areas including staff nurse, nurse manager, supervisor, director or coordinator. There are also options for research nurse and nurse educator – which may prove to be more lucrative, especially in fields where new procedures are constantly being developed or where more research is needed.


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