Cosmetic surgery is a unique discipline of medicine focused on enhancing appearance through surgical and medical techniques. Cosmetic surgery can be performed on all areas of the head, neck and body. Because treated areas function properly but lack aesthetic appeal, cosmetic surgery is elective.
Plastic surgery is defined as a surgical specialty dedicated to reconstruction of facial and body defects due to birth disorders, trauma, burns, and disease. Plastic surgery is intended to correct dysfunctional areas of the body and is reconstructive in nature.
Understanding the difference between cosmetic and plastic surgery.
Cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are not the same thing:
- Cosmetic surgery procedures enhance a person's appearance toward some aesthetic ideal.
- Cosmetic surgery is practiced by doctors from a variety of medical fields including dermatologists, facial plastic surgeons, general surgeons, gynecologists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, ophthalmologists, otolaryngologists, plastic surgeons, as well as doctors from other fields.
- Unlike cosmetic surgery, plastic surgery focuses on repairing and reconstructing abnormal structures of the body caused by birth defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors or disease.
How Cosmetic Surgeons
Doctors seeking to learn cosmetic surgery primarily obtain training and experience after completing their residency training. Knowing this fact is necessary to understanding the difference between cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery.
Residency programs in dermatology, general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, and plastic surgery do not include training on every cosmetic procedure.