The Difference Between Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery

At first glance, cosmetic and plastic surgery might seem like one and the same, but they’re actually quite different from each other. They are so distinct, in fact, that there isn’t even an overwhelming number of doctors that specialize in both. It’s okay if there’s confusion about the difference between them. That’s why we’re here. We want to go over the difference between cosmetic and plastic surgery. That way, even more people will be aware of where they diverge from each other.

Cosmetic Surgery

The primary focus of cosmetic surgery is enhancing a patient’s appearance. Small surgical adjustments can be made to improve the proportions and symmetry of the patient’s head, neck, and body. Since cosmetic surgeries are performed specifically for enhancing one’s aesthetic appeal, it’s considered elective surgery.

Some types of cosmetic surgeries include facial contouring, skin rejuvenation, and breast enhancements. These include procedures such as rhinoplasty and Botox. Anything that involves lifting, tucking, or reducing falls under the cosmetic category. One of the major tools used to perform these procedures is cosmetic laser equipment. All States M.E.D. offer a wide selection of new and refurbished ones.

When it comes to the route doctors must take to get into the field, there’s no residency program specifically for cosmetic surgery. It’s not until they reach post-residency that they begin training to become a cosmetic surgeon.

Plastic Surgery

This is the one that tends to be more misunderstood. Pop culture tends to think that people who are constantly beautifying themselves through surgery are getting plastic surgery—but that’s cosmetic surgery, which is why we felt the need to write a blog post clarifying the difference between them. Plastic surgery is focused on repairing or even reconstructing body defects. Most of these defects are caused by deadly accidents, diseases, or birth conditions. Because of this, plastic surgeries are much more vital than cosmetic ones.

A few common plastic surgery types include burn repair, scar revision, and lower extremity reconstruction. All of these are much more serious in nature, but there are times when plastic surgeries are necessary for breast reconstruction, as well. These are still usually for patients who have severe issues and aren’t recommended for people who want breast reconstruction for aesthetic reasons.

Unlike in the cosmetic field, there’s a more direct path for surgeons to pursue plastic surgery. They can complete either a residency or a fellowship specifically for plastic surgery, which makes it easier to go into cosmetic surgery later in their career.

The Key Difference

Now that you’ve seen all the elements that differentiate the two types of procedures, we want to ensure you understand the key differences. Cosmetic surgeries are elective and only reshape existing parts of the body, whereas plastic surgeries are reconstructive and usually involve adding something for repair or reconstruction.