Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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FACT SHEET: Plastic Reconstructive Surgery at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center

May 26, 2004

FACT SHEET: Plastic Reconstructive Surgery at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Released: 2004/05/26

  • The MEDVAMC's Plastic Reconstructive Surgery Section performs reconstructive surgeries in order to meet the physical and mental health needs of our veterans. Plastic surgery does not mean cosmetic surgery. Procedures performed by the Plastic Surgery Section are performed for medical conditions, functionality, or for the mental well being of the patient.
  • The MEDVAMC strictly adheres to the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) policy that plastic reconstructive surgery is only performed for the purpose of improving patients' physical or mental health. Under no circumstances is such surgery undertaken exclusively for cosmetic purposes. Plastic reconstructive surgery consists of those surgical procedures performed for the revision of external bodily structures which deviate from the normal either from congenital or acquired causes.
  • All patients seen by the MEDVAMC Plastic Surgery Section go through rigid and often lengthy psychiatric screening prior to approval of a surgical procedure. The MEDVAMC has outstanding, board-certified psychiatrists on staff to ensure patients are not manipulating the process. In addition, the surgical attending physician reviews all cases and the Operative Care Line Executive reviews cases to ensure compliance with the VHA policy. Patients are not approved just because they want a specific procedure.
  • Specific procedures such as eyelid revision, breast implants, and forehead wrinkle removal are often performed for a number of medical reasons including vision obstruction, reconstruction after cancer, rupture repair, extreme weight loss, excessive scarring, or medication reactions. Liposuction is often performed in conjunction with reconstructive surgery.
  • Each surgical clinic at the MEDVAMC has different resources and staff available. Wait times, guidelines, and screening procedures are different for each clinic. The MEDVAMC employs surgeons with expertise in such medical disciplines as neurosurgery, urology, cardiac surgery, orthopedics, vascular, thoracic, dental, audiology, and otolaryngology.

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Point of Contact: VHAHOU Public Affairs

06/01/04 03:50