The purpose of reconstructive surgery is to restore the form and function of damaged or deformed anatomical regions of the face and body. Surgery can improve or solve problems resulting from trauma, tumors, burns, congenital malformations, infections, facial fractures, and nerve injuries.

The reconstructive techniques that a reconstructive plastic surgeon has in his or her background are:
Skin grafts: transfer of skin tissue from one part of the body to another to provide coverage with new skin over ulcerated areas;
flaps: transfer of skin, fat, muscle, cartilage, and/or bone tissue from neighboring regions (not interrupting vascular supply) to allow repair of soft tissue defects;
Autotransplantation: harvesting tissue such as cartilage, tendon, fat, dermis, muscle, nerve, or bone from other parts of the body to provide the necessary components for reconstruction;
Microsurgery: reconstruction of missing tissue by transfer from another body site using microsurgical techniques to restore blood supply and nerve function.