Cosmetic surgery Vs plastic surgery

Cosmetic Surgery Vs. Plastic Surgery: Know the Difference

If you always thought that cosmetic and plastic surgery are the same then you are not alone. There are a significant number of plastic surgeons who chooses to focus their practice on the cosmetic surgery, hence the terms are often used interchangeably. But technically this is not correct, since they are closely related specialties, but not the same.

Cosmetic Surgery Vs. Plastic Surgery: Goals

Although both the cosmetic surgery and the plastic surgery deals with improving a patient’s body, but overarching philosophies that guides training, research and goals for the outcomes are different.

Cosmetic Surgery Goals: Focuses to Enhance Appearance

The techniques, procedures and principles of cosmetic surgery completely focus to enhance the appearance of the patient. It improves the symmetry, aesthetic appeal and proportion. The cosmetic surgery can be performed on all areas of the head, neck and body and since the treated areas function properly therefore this surgery is elective. The cosmetic surgery is practiced by doctors from a variety of medical fields and includes the plastic surgeons.

The scope of cosmetic surgery procedures include:

  1. Facial contouring:
    1. Chin or Cheek Enhancement
    2. Rhinoplasty
  2. Breast Enhancement:
    1. Breast Reduction
    2. Breast Lift
    3. Breast Augmentation
  3. Facial Rejuvenaiton
    1. Facelift
    2. Neck Lift
    3. Eyelid lift
    4. Brow lift
  4. Skin Rejuvenation
    1. Laser Resurfacing
    2. Botox®
    3. Filler Treatments
  5. Body Contouring
    1. Liposuction
    2. Tummy Tuck
    3. Gynecomastia Treatment

Plastic Surgery Goals: Focuses to Repair Defects to Reconstruct a Normal Function and Appearance

Plastic surgery is defined as a surgical specialty which is dedicated to reconstruct the facial and the body defects due to trauma, birth disorders, burns and diseases. This surgery is intended to correct the dysfunctional areas of the body, hence it is a reconstructive surgery. Many plastic surgeons choose to complete their additional training and perform the cosmetic surgery, and the basis of their surgical training remains the reconstructive plastic surgery.

The examples of plastic surgery procedures include:

  1. Breast reconstruction
  2. Congenital defect repair such as, extremity defect repair, cleft palate
  3. Hand surgery
  4. Lower extremity reconstruction
  5. Scar revision surgery
  6. Hand surgery

Cosmetic surgery Vs. Plastic Surgery: Training

Since the cosmetic and plastic surgery has distinct goals built around a specific procedure, hence the training and certification process for a board certified cosmetic surgeon will look very different from that of a board certified plastic surgeons.

Training Requirements for American Board of Cosmetic Surgery includes:

  1. Tummy tuck
  2. Breast surgery
  3. Liposuction
  4. Face surgery
  5. Other cosmetic surgeries
Here all required training categories are dedicated to cosmetic surgery. About 300 cosmetic surgery cases are required to graduate.

Training Requirements for American Board of Plastic Surgery includes:

  1. Hand surgery
  2. Trauma surgery
  3. Reconstructive surgery
  4. Disorders
  5. Congenital repair
  6. Cosmetic surgery
·         Tummy tuck
·         Liposuction
·         Face surgery
·         Breast surgery
·         Other cosmetic surgery

Only one of the six required training categories are in cosmetic surgery. Here 150 cosmetic surgery cases are required to graduate.

Cosmetic Surgery Training: Completed Primarily After Residency Training

Currently, there are no residency programs in the US which is devoted exclusively to cosmetic surgery. So the cosmetic surgeons obtain training and experience after completing their residency training which is done by completing a post-residency fellowship.

The board-certified cosmetic surgeons are residency trained + fellowship trained in cosmetic surgery. Each surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery has completed a one year fellowship training exclusively in the cosmetic surgery. During this fellowship, they receive thorough training in all the cosmetic surgery procedures of the breast, face, body and non surgical cosmetic surgery procedures and have to perform a minimum of 300 individual cosmetic surgery procedures. This fellowship training is followed after completing a 3-5 year residency program in a related discipline.

Plastic Surgery Training: Completed through a post-graduate residency program

Physicians who become board certified in plastic surgery should complete a general surgery residency plus another 2 years in plastic surgery. Residency programs include, cosmetic surgery as a part of surgeon’s training but usually it do not include training on every cosmetic procedure.

Hence “board certified plastic surgeon” indicates a certain level training and experience in plastic surgery and does not indicate same thing as cosmetic surgery since the training to become board certified plastic surgery do not include training with respect to many common cosmetic procedure.

Since any licensed physician can legally perform cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery regardless of how they received cosmetic surgery training and plastic surgery training, hence it is extremely important to do your research well when choosing a cosmetic surgeon or a plastic surgeon. Contact Cosmetic and Obesity Surgery Hospital India to find the most qualified doctor for a specific cosmetic procedure or plastic surgery in India.
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