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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 25-30

The role of plastic surgery in global health: A narrative review

Department of Plastic Surgery, St. Thomas' Hospital, London SE1 7EH, UK

Correspondence Address:
Mimi R Borrelli
Department of Plastic Surgery, St. Thomas' Hospital, London SE1 7EH
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijssr.ijssr_15_17

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Background: There is growing awareness of the substantial global burden of surgical disease. Conditions treated effectively by plastic and reconstructive procedures make a large proportion of the global surgical diseases, and disproportionately affect individuals at the lower end of the economic spectrum. Methods: This article reviews the role of plastic surgery in global health, highlights the ongoing need for plastic and reconstructive surgery globally, and increasing efforts that have been made to meet these needs. Results: There global shortage of plastic surgeons in low and middle income countries, but plastic surgery has a long tradition of humanitarian aid, has been a leader in global surgery development. Plastic and reconstructive surgical care has increasingly been shown to be cost effective and to have an immense impact on the economy of a region, delivering a substantial return on investment. More sustainable global surgical care is essential in future, requiring ongoing efforts from the plastic surgery community, greater recognition of the problems that can be addressed at policy level, and research to help guide policy-makers when facing the decision of allocating scarce resources. Conclusion: There is a fundamental role of plastic surgery in global health.

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