Is There a Difference Between Cosmetic Surgery and Plastic Surgery?

Is There a Difference Between Cosmetic Surgery and Plastic Surgery?

These days, it is not uncommon to hear of both men and women undergoing plastic surgery procedures to improve their appearance and bolster their self-esteem. In some cases, however, these procedures are done for medical reasons to improve an imperfection or to promote better health. The field of cosmetic improvement and enhancement is an industry that is constantly moving forward and bringing new technological breakthroughs to the medical marketplace. Therefore, it is important to differentiate between cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery.

Plastic surgery is an invasive surgical procedure dedicated to repairing defects of function and/or form. Cosmetic surgery can be included under the scope of plastic surgery, but plastic surgery in general encompasses many different types of reconstructive procedures. You normally wouldn’t think of cosmetic surgery including reconstructive procedures, such as skin grafts for burn victims, but having a nose job is a form of cosmetic procedure that includes a reconstruction. The only difference is that if the patient is receiving a nose job because of poor functionality (such as breathing problems, etc.) as opposed to receiving a nose job purely to enhance their facial appearance. Other plastic surgery procedures include breast reduction surgery and facial reconstruction surgeries (such as after a traumatic accident).

Cosmetic surgery is best thought of as an enhancement procedure. A cosmetic surgeon specializes in improving the aesthetic appearance of a person’s body. Common cosmetic procedures include breast lifts, tummy tucks, face lifts, liposuction and chemical peels, as well as any procedures that include appearance-enhancing implants such as breast augmentation or buttock augmentation. A popular augmentation procedure amongst men is the pectoral implant, which enhances the appearance of the chest muscles.

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Cosmetic procedures also include less invasive procedures such as injections of Botox in the facial tissue and injections of collagen in lips. Laser treatments can also be added to the list of cosmetic procedures, as they improve the appearance of the skin and reduce the telltale signs of aging. Laser treatments and injections are outpatient procedures that require very little time and a minimal recovery period.

If you are considering having a cosmetic procedure done, talk to your physician about all possible options. Research the procedures you are interested in having done and take the time to think about whether you are truly ready for cosmetic surgery. It is a big decision and one that should not be made lightly, as having cosmetic surgery can significantly – and permanently – alter your appearance. It is important to remember that having a cosmetic procedure done will not cure deep rooted self esteem and self confidence issues, but can make a person feel better about the appearance of specific problem areas. Your doctor will discuss surgical alternatives and offer suggestions as how to prepare for your cosmetic procedure.