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What is the difference between plastic surgery & cosmetic surgery?

Posted June 04, 2020 in Uncategorized

Dr. Nicole Castellese is a cosmetic surgeon, certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery
Cosmetic Surgery, Plastic Surgery—What’s the Difference?

If you’ve always thought cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery were one in the same, you’re not alone. A significant number of plastic surgeons choose to focus their practice on cosmetic surgery, and as such, the terms are often used interchangeably. But this is not technically correct. Cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are closely related specialties, but they are not the same.

Cosmetic Surgery & Plastic Surgery Have Different Goals.

While both cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery deal with improving a patient’s body, the overarching philosophies guiding the training, research, and goals for patient outcomes are different.

What is cosmetic surgery?
Cosmetic Surgery: Focused on Enhancing Appearance
The procedures, techniques, and principles of cosmetic surgery are entirely focused on enhancing a patient’s appearance. Improving aesthetic appeal, symmetry, and proportion are the key goals. An aesthetic surgery can be performed on all areas of the head, neck, and body. Since cosmetic procedures treat areas that function properly, cosmetic surgery is designated as elective. Cosmetic elective procedures are performed by doctors from a variety of medical fields, including plastic surgeons.

Plastic Surgery: Focused on Repairing Defects to Reconstruct a Normal Function & Appearance
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, by definition, reconstructive in nature. While many plastic surgeons choose to complete additional training and perform cosmetic surgery as well, the basis of their surgical training remains reconstructive plastic surgery. In fact, in 1999, the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons changed its name to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons to more strongly communicate the message that “plastic and reconstructive surgeons are one in the same.”

For more information please visit americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org or withdrnicole.com