You have probably heard the terms “cosmetic surgery” and “plastic surgery” used interchangeably. However, they are not the same thing. Here’s a quick look at the differences of cosmetic surgery vs. plastic surgery so you can choose the procedures that are best for you.
Cosmetic surgery is a medical discipline focused on enhancing a person’s appearance through surgical and medical techniques and procedures. Cosmetic surgery can be performed on all areas of the body, including the head and neck. Cosmetic surgery treats areas that function properly, so it is considered elective.
Plastic surgery is a surgical specialty that is dedicated to reconstruction of body and facial defects due to many different aspects, including disease, burns, trauma, and birth disorders. Plastic surgery is reconstructive in nature, and is intended to correct some dysfunction of the body.
Because the procedures and results are different, the training between plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons is also different.
While both will pursue a medical degree, it is after the medical degree is obtained that we see a difference. There are actually no residency programs that focus on cosmetic surgery, so surgeons who are pursuing cosmetic surgery will follow a fellowship program, usually in a surgical specialty, followed by attaining board certification to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Additional fellowships in cosmetic surgery, workshops, seminars, and lectures will also add to a cosmetic surgeon’s education.
Plastic surgeons follow a similar educational path; however, they can complete a residency in plastic surgery to become certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. A plastic surgeon may often choose to gain experience in cosmetic surgery through a fellowship.
As you can see, board certification is very important to both the cosmetic surgeon and the plastic surgeon. This is why it is very important that when you are considering a procedure, you understand exactly what you are looking for. And furthermore, no matter your choice, you should always seek out a physician that has the proper education and certifications to ensure your safety, as well as assuring you will attain the best results.
Interested learning more about cosmetic surgery vs. plastic surgery? Then call us at Laser Lipo and Vein Center today and we can discuss various treatment plans for your needs and preferences!