KAILUA, Hawaii, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Plastic surgery was born out of war and advances from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan benefit victims elsewhere, U.S. researchers said.
"Plastic surgery is a specialty that, unfortunately, always makes significant advances in wartime," said Col. Thomas Crabtree, a plastic surgeon who is scheduled to moderate a panel discussion at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons Plastic Surgery conference in Chicago.
The panel will discuss the challenges created by today's high-powered weaponry and the advances in facial reconstruction accelerated by wartime.
"The surgical problems we face from the frontlines to stateside military hospitals are challenging to say the least, but the advances made benefit both wounded warriors and civilians hurt in inner-city violence or trauma," Crabtree said.
The cases are difficult to perform, often taking up to 10 hours, Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, a panel participant said.
"But you get so committed to these cases. The pressure is incredible, it's like you are in the Super Bowl and its 4th and goal," Rodriguez said. "But the rewards are amazing. We can do so much to help these patients now, where they previously would be left with devastating injuries."
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons Plastic Surgery conference is scheduled for Oct. 31 to Nov. 5.