1 Aug

Cosmetic Surgery Vs. Plastic Surgery: What’s the Difference?

If you’ve always thought that cosmetic surgery is practically the same as plastic surgery, then you’re not alone in this world. Before anything else, know that a large percentage of plastic surgeons focus their attention and practices into doing cosmetic surgery. It is because of this notion that the terms are often interchanged.

Albeit seemingly correct, plastic surgery is different than cosmetic surgery even though they’re closely related specialties. Learning the difference between the two surgical practices can help give you a better idea of what you need or want for your body.

Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery Have Different Objectives

Cosmetic surgery primarily focuses on enhancing appearance whereas plastic surgeons mainly repair defects to try and reconstruct normal appearance and function. The scope of cosmetic surgery can include facial contouring, body contouring, facial rejuvenation, skin rejuvenation, and breast enhancement. As for plastic surgery, it can involve burn repair surgery, lower extremity reconstruction, scar revision surgery, breast reconstruction, congenital defect repair, and hand surgery.

Training for Plastic Surgery is Obtained Separately From Cosmetic Surgery Training

Since cosmetic surgery has different objectives than plastic surgery, they are built around a varying procedure set. As such, the training provided for both of these surgical practices come at different times. The completion of plastic surgery training is achieved through a post-graduate residency program, whereas completing the training for cosmetic surgery is mainly after residency training.

What Does it Take to Complete a Plastic Surgery Training?

The requirement for physicians wishing to become board certified plastic surgeons must complete a general residency in surgery. Furthermore, the medical practitioner needs another 2 years of residency in plastic surgery. Also, some residency programs for plastic surgery may even include a portion of cosmetic surgery as part of their training. However, it usually doesn’t include training found in every procedure in cosmetic surgery. As such, the title of “board certified plastic surgeon” means that a particular level of experience and training is achieved, but it’s not the same thing when looking at the title with respect to cosmetic surgery.

What Does it Take to Complete a Cosmetic Surgery Training?

Unlike training programs to become a plastic surgeon, there are no residency programs exclusively devoted to cosmetic surgery. Hence, most cosmetic surgeons obtain experience and training right after completing their residency training. The acquisition of the title of a cosmetic surgeon is usually acquired after the completion of a post-residency fellowship. In most cases, a medical practitioner who wants to become a certified cosmetic surgeon needs to complete a 1-year fellowship training exclusive to their chosen surgical practice. While undergoing this fellowship, the aspiring cosmetic surgeon receives thorough training in all cosmetic surgery practices of the body, breast, and face, as well as other non-surgical and non-invasive cosmetic treatments.

Whether you want to become a plastic surgeon or cosmetic surgeon, or perhaps thinking about getting plastic or cosmetic surgery, it requires proper knowledge of the difference between the two surgical practices. Getting to know more about plastic and cosmetic surgery utah will help interested individuals in learning and understanding more about the practices.