Cosmetic Surgery Versus Plastic Surgery…Did You Know They’re Not The Same?

In today's society, it's not unusual for a mom who doesn't plan to have more children to get a tummy tuck or breast augmentation and a brow lift can go a long way toward reducing the signs of aging. However, you might be surprised to learn that although many people use the descriptions of cosmetic and plastic surgery interchangeably and they are remarkably similar in many ways, they're not the same. Therefore, whether you're hoping to look younger and thinner after some quality time with your surgeon or you want surgery to improve the appearance of an old scar, it's a good idea to be aware of the following facts about both specialties:

Understanding Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery includes a wide variety of procedures, including augmentations, lifts, and reduction of breasts, as well as tummy tucks and liposuction. One important element to keep in mind about cosmetic surgery is that it exists in order to improve the physical appearance of one or more otherwise healthy body parts. If the body part in question is impaired or not present, cosmetic surgery is not an option until and unless its functionality has been restored.   

For instance, as mentioned above, breast augmentations and lifts are common procedures. However, if you have had breast cancer or otherwise need reconstruction work on that area, you will need to see a plastic surgeon. The same is true if you are unhappy with the appearance of your lips. You can get filler injections in order for them to look fuller, but you cannot get surgery to address a more serious condition like a cleft lip from your cosmetic surgeon.        

Considering Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is also known as reconstructive surgery, which makes its work a bit easier to understand. While cosmetic surgery improves your physical appearance, plastic surgery is performed to improve the functionality or usability of one or more body parts.    

For example, some of the more common examples of plastic surgery in the United States today include burn repairs, scar remediation, and reconstructive work after a single or bilateral mastectomy. In some instances, patients might see a plastic surgeon to address a congenital acquired defect and then later see a cosmetic surgeon to make the treated area more attractive. In addition, you might find that some plastic and cosmetic surgeons share a medical practice in order to meet the combined needs of all of their patients.     

In conclusion, cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are different fields and it's important to know the difference if you are considering availing yourself of their services. Therefore, it's a good idea to be aware of the information shared below. 

Contact local reconstructive surgeons for more information and assistance.