What's the Difference Between Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery? -

What’s the Difference Between Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery?

Posted on November 12, 2020 under Plastic Surgery

If you’re considering your options for plastic surgery, it’s normal to be confused when you see the terms “plastic surgery” and “cosmetic surgery.” They can seem like the same thing and are even used interchangeably sometimes. There are some key differences, though, that are important to know. This can help you find the right plastic surgeon or cosmetic surgeon for your goals. Here’s what to know about these two medical fields and the differences between them.

What is Cosmetic Surgery?

Cosmetic surgery has the goal of improving different aspects of your appearance, whether by improving the look of the nose through rhinoplasty or trimming and tightening a flabby abdomen that doesn’t respond to diet or exercise, for example. These surgeries are considered elective surgeries because the body functions normally whether these concerns are addressed or not. Because they’re elective, most health insurance plans won’t cover cosmetic surgeries, so you’ll pay out-of-pocket. Some elective cosmetic procedures can also be performed by doctors who are not plastic surgeons. Minimally-invasive or non-invasive procedures such as dermal filler treatments can be performed by people who are not doctors at all.

Types of Cosmetic Procedures

• Breast augmentation
Breast lift
• Chin enhancement
• Cheek enhancement
• Blepharoplasty
Brow lift
• Neck lift
• Tummy tuck
• Laser resurfacing
• Dermal fillers

What is Plastic Surgery?

Plastic surgery focuses on restoring, not just enhancing, the normal appearance and function of the face and body through surgical means in cases of congenital defects or injuries. Cosmetic surgeons must master plastic surgery before they take on the additional training that lets them perform cosmetic surgery.

Types of Plastic Surgery Include:

Breast Reconstruction
• Burn repair
• Breast reduction

Training for Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery

Because they have different goals, training to be a plastic surgeon is different from training to be a cosmetic surgeon. Someone who wants to be a plastic surgeon will undergo training to be proficient in reconstructive and other plastic surgeries. A cosmetic surgeon is not only required to be proficient in reconstructive plastic surgery, but in cosmetic surgeries that include face and breast surgery. Moreover, a plastic surgeon has to achieve specific benchmarks including surgeries performed before they can sit for their certification exam. A cosmetic surgeon has to have completed a specific number of cosmetic surgery procedures before they can sit for their certification exam.

Schedule a Consultation

Selecting the right board certified plastic surgeon or cosmetic surgeon can mean the difference between excellent results and unintended ones. To meet with Dr. Basile and learn more about your options for plastic and cosmetic surgery, we invite you to contact our Jacksonville Beach office by calling or filling out our online form.

© 2024 Patrick l. Basile, M.D.