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What Is the Difference between Cosmetic Surgery and Plastic Surgery?

Like most people, you may think that cosmetic surgery is the same as plastic surgery. A majority of plastic surgeons decide to focus their practice on the first one and so, both terms are often used in the same manner. However, this is technically incorrect. Although the two are closely related, these types of surgery are not one and the same.

Clear Objectives

Cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery alike are meant to improve the appearance of a patient, but they have different underlying philosophies directing the research, goals, and training.

If you live in or around Adelaide and are considering plastic or cosmetic surgery, Waverley House Plastic Surgery Centre has a strong reputation for quality, safety and for delivering a high standard of plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic Surgery.

The Goal of Cosmetic Surgery is to Enhance Physical Appearance

This type of surgery requires principles, techniques and procedures focused on improving the look of a patient. Primarily, it aims to improve symmetry, aesthetic and proportion appeal. Cosmetic surgery can be administered in all parts of the neck, head and body.

Since the treated areas have standard functions, cosmetic surgery is only optional and is conducted by doctors from different medical fields, such as plastic surgeons.

Cosmetic SurgeryProcedures Consist of the Following:

  • Breast Enhancement: Augmentation, Reduction, Lift
  • Body Contouring: Gynecomastia Treatment, Liposuction, Tummy Tuck
  • Facial Contouring, Chin/Cheek Enhancement, Rhinoplasty
  • Facial Rejuvenation: Brow Lift, Eyelid Lift, Facelift, Neck Lift
  • Skin Rejuvenation: Anti-Wrinkle Injections, Filler Treatments, Laser Resurfacing

The Goal of Plastic Surgery is to Repair Defects to Normal Function and Reconstruct Appearance

Plastic surgery is termed as a surgical speciality committed to reconstructing body and facial defects as a result of birth disorders, burns, trauma and disease. It aims to correct areas of the body that are not adequately functional and are naturally reconstructive.

Though a majority of plastic surgeons choose to go through additional training and also administer cosmetic surgery, their surgical training is based on reconstructive plastic surgery. In fact, the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons name was changed to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in 1999 to carry the message that reconstructive and plastic surgeons are one and the same.

Examples of Plastic Surgery Procedures:

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

Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery training can be achieved by completing a post-graduate residency program. Physicians that have obtained plastic surgery board certification have to finish a general surgery residency and an additional two years in the particular field. Though the residency programs may include cosmetic surgery as part of a surgeon’s training, they usually do not come with training on every cosmetic procedure.

So, the “board certified plastic surgeon” title shows a particular level of education and experience relating to plastic surgery but does not specify the same thing regarding cosmetic surgery, since the residency training needed to get board certification in plastic surgery may not come with training regarding most common cosmetic procedures. It does not reveal whether or not the doctor is more trained in cosmetic surgery than a board certified physician in another area of expertise.

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