Many people wonder about the difference between cosmetic and plastic surgery. The simplest answer is that cosmetic surgery is a type of plastic surgery. Plastic surgery encompasses both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery and surgeries that treat burns, the hands, the head and the face. Microsurgery is a type of plastic surgery. Plastic comes from the Greek word “plastikos”, which means “to mold.” During plastic surgeries, the face and body are “molded” by a highly skilled physician.
What Is Cosmetic Surgery?
Cosmetic surgery is used mainly to improve the patient’s appearance. As a result, cosmetic surgery is rarely covered under a health insurance plan. Cosmetic surgeries include:
- Face lifts: the skin and underlying tissue of the face are tightened to give the person a more youthful look
- Abdominoplasty: removes unwanted fat and tissue from around the stomach.
Breast reduction, lifts and augmentation are also considered forms of cosmetic surgery.
Reconstructive surgery is a type of plastic surgery that’s used to restore the functioning or the appearance of a part of the body that’s abnormal. This abnormality can be the result of an accident, trauma, mastectomy or other types of surgery used to remove a diseased body part.
Reconstructive surgery can also be used to correct certain birth defects. Because this type of surgery is used to restore the functioning of a body part or is deemed medically necessary, it’s often covered by health insurance.
Sometimes cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries can blend with each other. This can be seen in breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Though the procedure is considered medically necessary, it has an esthetic component. Plastic surgeons seek to make the new breast match the other one and make it as natural looking as possible.
The Difference Between a Plastic Surgeon and a Cosmetic Surgeon
The training of a plastic surgeon is more rigorous than the training for a cosmetic surgeon. A plastic surgeon must have a three-year residence, then three years of training in plastic surgery. It can take as long as eight years for a board-certified plastic surgeon to complete his or her training.
A cosmetic surgeon can be a general surgeon who is trained in cosmetic procedures such as liposuction, breast augmentation or other procedures. Plastic surgeons have the option of training to become cosmetic surgeons.
Need Cosmetic or Plastic Surgery? Give Us a Call at PSS
If you feel you need plastic surgery, whether cosmetic or reconstructive, call our offices at PSS for a consultation. We hold consultations at our main office in Annapolis as well as our satellite offices in Easton and Prince Frederick. Call us today at 866-540-3911 so that we can discuss the new you.