Growing demand for reconstructive and cosmetic procedures may be driven in part by greater patient awareness of available options and new technologies, UT Southwestern Medical Center plastic surgeons say. "I think women in particular are educating themselves more and becoming more interested in learning about their options for breast reconstruction, along with growing awareness of studies showing breast reconstruction improves quality of life," said Rod Rohrich, chair of plastic surgery at UT Southwestern. Hand surgeries rose about 6% last year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and new techniques offer less invasive options, says Douglas Sammer, head of the UT Southwestern plastic surgery hand program.

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