If you’re like most people, you use these two terms interchangeably. It’s a common mistake; after all, they are quite similar. However, while they are closely-related specialties, they do have their differences. Let’s explore those differences — and similarities — in today’s blog.
Both specialties have the overall goal of improving a patient’s body so they can feel better about themselves. However, the philosophies involved when it comes to training, research, and goals for patient outcomes can differ a bit.
With a focus on enhancing appearance, cosmetic surgery is based on procedures, techniques, and principles that boost overall aesthetic appeal, symmetry, and proportion, typically performed on all body areas. Cosmetic surgery is generally elective, offered by doctors with many specialties, including plastic surgeons. The main types of cosmetic surgery are:
- Breast Augmentation and Reduction
- Facial Contouring, such as Rhinoplasty, Chin, or Cheek Enhancement
- Facial Rejuvenation, including Facelift, Eyelid Lift, and Neck Lift
- Body Contouring, including Tummy Tuck and Liposuction
- Skin Rejuvenation Procedures such as Laser Resurfacing and Botox
Plastic surgery differs in that it focuses on fixing defects, whether from birth, injury, burns, disease or trauma, in an effort to reconstruct normal function and appearance. Plastic surgery is designed to correct dysfunctional areas, with the main goal being reconstructive plastic surgery. Many plastic surgeons elect to undergo additional training for cosmetic surgery in addition to that basis, offering both types of procedures for their patients, according to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Plastic surgery procedures include the following:
- Breast Reconstruction
- Burn Repair
- Congenital Defect Repair, such as Cleft Palates
- Lower Extremity Reconstruction
- Hand Surgery
- Scar Revisions
Because cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are different in their approaches, they entail different training protocols and certification processes. Each one can mean different things, which is why it’s critical to do your research before choosing a plastic surgeon or cosmetic surgeon. Any reputable doctor will have no problem explaining his or her certifications and education level to you, so don’t be afraid to ask. For instance, you get peace of mind with Michigan Cosmetic Surgery’s Dr. Mariam Awada, plastic surgeon specializing in cosmetic surgery. Dr. Awada, MD FACS, was a Presidential Scholar at Wayne State University completing a double major in Chemistry and Biology. She graduated from Wayne State University School of Medicine with Distinction and was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society. She completed her General and Plastic Surgery Residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, training with some of the best plastic surgeons in the world. Her title as MD FACS means she is a doctor and Fellow, American College of Surgeons, a distinction only received by surgeons who meet the organization’s strict standards in areas of education, training, surgical competence, professional credentials and ethical conduct. Rely on the professionalism of Michigan Cosmetic Surgery. Call us today at 248-948-5500 for a free consultation.