Cosmetic Surgery Vs. Plastic

Cosmetic surgery vs. plastic surgery, what’s the difference?

If you have always thought that cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are the same, you are not alone. A significant number of cosmetic surgeons choose to focus their practice on plastic surgery, and as a result, the terms are often misused. But this is not technically correct. Cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are closely related specialities, but they are not the same.

Cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery have different goals

Although cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery aim to improve the patient’s body, the overall philosophies that guide training, research and plans for patient outcomes are different.

What is Cosmetic surgery?

Cosmetic Surgery: Focusing on Improving Appearance

Cosmetic surgery procedures, techniques, and principles are entirely focused on improving a patient’s appearance. Improving symmetry, aesthetics, and proportion are the main goals. This surgery can easily be performed on the head, neck, and body. Since cosmetic procedures treat areas of normal functioning, this surgery is considered an elective operation. Elective cosmetic procedures are performed by professional doctors from different medical fields, including plastic surgeons.

Types of Cosmetic Surgery Procedures:

  • Breast augmentation: breast augmentation, breast augmentation, breast reduction
  • Facial contours: rhinoplasty, chin lift or cheek lift
  • Facial rejuvenation: facelift, neck lift, eyelid lift, brow lift
  • Body contouring: tummy tuck, Liposuction, mammary gland treatment
  • Skin rejuvenation: Laser resurfacing, Botox® treatment, Filler

What is plastic surgery?

Plastic surgery: focus on correcting defects to restore normal function and appearance

Plastic surgery is defined as a surgical speciality dedicated to reconstructing defects on the face and body due to congenital disorders, trauma, burns and diseases. Likewise, plastic surgery aims to correct dysfunctional areas of the body and is, by definition, reconstructive. While many plastic surgeons choose to complete additional training and perform cosmetic surgery, the basis of their surgical training remains reconstructive plastic surgery. Likewise, in 1999, the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons changed its name to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons to more strongly communicate the message that “plastic and reconstructive surgeons are the same.”

Types of Plastic Surgery Procedures:

  • Congenital Defect Repair: Extremity Defect Repair, Cleft Palate
  • Burn Repair Surgery
  • Breast Reconstruction
  • Lower Extremity Reconstruction
  • Hand Surgery
  • Scar Revision Surgery

Cosmetic Surgery Training is Obtained Separately from Plastic Surgery Training

As cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery, each has distinct practice goals built around a specific procedure set, it only follows that the training and certification process for a board-certified surgeon will look very different from that of a board-certified plastic surgeon.

Plastic surgery training is completed through a postgraduate residency program

Physicians who become board-certified in plastic surgery are required to complete one of two routes of movement:

  • An integrated residency training that combines three years of general surgery and three years of plastic surgery or;
  • An independent, five-year residency program in general surgery followed by a three-year plastic surgery residency program.

Residency programs in plastic surgery may include cosmetic surgery as a portion of a surgeon’s training but typically do not include training on every cosmetic procedure.

Thus, the title “board-certified plastic surgeon” indicates a certain level of training and experience in plastic surgery. Still, it does not mean the same because the residency training required to become board-certified in plastic surgery may not include training in many standard cosmetic procedures. ² It also doesn’t tell you that the doctor has more or less activity in plastic surgery than a board-certified physician in another speciality.

Cosmetic surgery training is completed chiefly after residency

There are currently no residency programs in the United States for plastic surgery. For this reason, plastic surgeons primarily take training and experience after completing residency training. This is done by completing post-residency training in plastic surgery.

Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeons with residency training + training in Cosmetic surgery

Education, experience, and knowledge required to become a Certified Cosmetic Surgeon Board certification reflects expertise beyond what is necessary to become board certified in a related area, such as Cosmetic surgery. Each Cosmetic surgeon certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery has completed a one-year training course approved by the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgeons, exclusively in cosmetic surgery.

In this fellowship, surgeons are highly trained in all cosmetic surgical procedures for the face, breast, and body and non-surgical cosmetic treatments, performing minimally invasive procedures at least 300 individual cosmetic surgery procedures. This training scholarship complements a 35-year residency program in a related discipline.

Since any licensed medical practitioner can legally perform cosmetic surgery, regardless of their training in plastic surgery, you must research when choosing a plastic surgeon. To find the doctor with the highest qualifications for a particular cosmetic procedure, you need to compare the overall education levels (residency and post-residency) of doctors, experience and qualifications—their endorsement for that specific cosmetic procedure.

Girlsn Beauty
Girlsn Beauty

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