If you thought that cosmetic and plastic surgery are the one and the same thing, then you are wrong. This is an often made mistake because a lot of plastic surgeons usually focus on cosmetic surgery, so that is why people believe that they are the same thing. Cosmetic and plastic surgery are closely related but they are not exactly the same.
Cosmetic surgery focuses entirely on the patient’s appearance. Improving symmetry, aesthetic appeal and proportion are the main goals. It can be done on different areas of the head, neck and the entire body. So, in other words cosmetic surgery only helps people to improve the things that they do not like about their appearance.
Some examples of cosmetic surgery include:
Facial Rejuvenation: Facelift, Eyelid Lift, Neck Lift, Brow Lift
Skin Rejuvenation: Laser Resurfacing, Botox, Filler Treatments
Breast Enhancement: Augmentation, Lift, Reduction
Body Contouring: Tummy Tuck, Liposuction, Gynecomastia Treatment, Coolsculpting
Facial Contouring: Rhinoplasty, Chin, or Cheek Enhancement
On the other hand, plastic surgery’s main goal is to reconstruct body and facial defects which are due to trauma, disease, burns and birth defects. It corrects the dysfunctional areas of the body and reconstructs them. The primary course if plastic surgical training is reconstructive plastic surgery, but some surgeons finish the additional training in cosmetic surgery as well..
Some examples of plastic surgery include:
Lower Extremity Reconstruction
Burn Repair Surgery
Scar Revision Surgery
Congenital Defect Repair: Cleft Palate, Extremity Defect Repair
The training for these two kinds of plastic surgery are different because these two fields have different goals that are done with a specific procedure set.
If a person wants to become certified in plastic surgery he/she must complete a general surgery residence plus 2 years in plastic surgery. While in residency cosmetic surgery might be practices as well as a portion of the training, but it is very unusual.
Therefore to become a plastic surgeon you have to have a certain training and experience, and it is very different to the training for cosmetic surgery because during the training you might not d0 a single cosmetic surgery procedure.
If a person wants to become a cosmetic surgeon you have to undergo training after completing the residency training. He/she can do this by completing a post-residency fellowship.
To become a certified cosmetic surgeon means that a person has to go on a specialization far more complex that the one that is needed in plastic surgery. Each person that has become a certified cosmetic surgeon has done one year fellowship training. During the course of the training surgeons train how to do all cosmetic surgeries of the body, face and breast, plus the non-surgical cosmetic treatments. They perform up to 300 and more surgeries by themselves. This training is in addition to the obligatory 3-5 year residency program.
So if you want to undergo cosmetic surgery make sure that you do a good research because it is not only important that the surgeon has license, but make sure that you see their overall training, experience and competence.