Cosmetic vs Plastic Surgery – What’s the Difference? 

Are you familiar with the difference between cosmetic and plastic surgery? Most people believe these terms are interchangeable, as they make no distinction between the disciplines. Despite being closely related, these disciplines differ in the outcome. While cosmetic procedures focus on improving one’s appearance, plastic operations involve reconstruction of body areas following an accident, mastectomy, or having a congenital anomaly. 

People decide to undergo cosmetic procedures so as to restore their youthful appearance, get rid of saggy skin, and achieve better facial symmetry. In contrast, individuals requiring plastic operations wish to remove scaring and repair nerve damage.

Make sure you learn more about the dissimilarities between these disciplines. 

The difference between cosmetic and plastic surgery

Although both cosmetic and plastic surgery aims to improve a particular part of the human body, these procedures differ when it comes to the outcome. For instance, the focus of cosmetic surgery is placed on enhancing the appearance and self-confidence of individuals. Since patients undergo such procedures while being perfectly healthy, these operations are considered elective. Consequently, the cost of cosmetic procedures isn’t covered by insurance. 

Plastic surgery, on the other hand, focuses on the correction and reconstruction of dysfunctional body parts caused by illnesses, tumor removals, accidents, congenital deformities, etc. Given that patients have to undergo such operations because of certain body area dysfunctionality, the cost is usually covered by insurance. 

Furthermore, individuals are supposed to make a difference between plastic and cosmetic surgeons, as these professionals differ in the amount of training after completing medical school. Nowadays, most reputable plastic surgery practices, such as Dr. Kirman’s Bay Area office, employ both cosmetic and plastic surgeons. The latter have to spend at least six years on residency training in order to be credentialed by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, whereas the former are required to spend no more than a year of training after college. 

Keep in mind that certified plastic surgeons can work in the field of cosmetic surgery due to their extensive training, whereas cosmetic surgeons aren’t considered trained enough to perform plastic surgeries. Board certification is of the utmost importance when looking for a surgeon, as it serves as proof of having the required education, training, and experience. 

Cosmetic surgery

This type of discipline involves numerous surgical procedures related to breast enhancement, facial contouring and rejuvenation, skin rejuvenation, and contouring of the body. All types of procedures are performed to meet the requirements of different patients, whose ultimate goal is improving their appearance. 

Breast augmentation is one of the most popular breast enhancement procedures, which aims to enlarge breasts with the use of implants. Most women undergo such an operation because of being dissatisfied with the natural size and symmetry of their breasts. 

In contrast, numerous women opt for a breast lift, particularly those coping with sagging breasts. It’s normal for this tissue to lose firmness and perkiness after pregnancy and substantial weight loss. Fortunately, this procedure is capable of restoring its shape, volume, and contour without using implants. Visit this page to get familiar with the most common cause of sagging breasts and some prevention tips. 

Regarding facial contouring, rhinoplasty is undoubtedly the most popular choice of surgery. It refers to the improvement of one’s nose by making changes to its size, form, and symmetry. Many individuals decide to enhance their nose structure in the hope of reshaping their crooked, overly long, too wide, or unusually large nose. 

Furthermore, people with recessed chin are interested in undergoing genioplasty, referring to the enhancement of their chin. Cosmetic surgeons use chin implants in order to enlarge this facial feature and improve facial symmetry. 

Facelift surgery is the most effective aesthetic solution for individuals experiencing sagging facial skin. The process of aging results in loss of skin elasticity and hydration, creating wrinkles and saggy neck skin. Nevertheless, a facelift enables patients to restore their youthful skin glow and conceal the signs of aging. 

Plastic surgery

The field of plastic surgery includes operations like breast reconstruction, congenital defect repair, hand surgery, scar revision, reconstructive burn surgery, etc. For example, breast reconstruction is usually performed after a mastectomy in order for women to restore their bust. It can be either an implant or a flap reconstruction. The former includes the use of implants, while the latter uses tissue from another body part of the patient. Visit the following link,, to learn about the breast reconstruction options for patients.  

Additionally, burn reconstructive surgery is performed on patients who have suffered burn wounds. Once the wounds get healed, such an operation is suitable for improving the look and function of the scars. Although the scars cannot be completely removed, a reconstructive burn operation restores the range of motions in patients, as well as make the scars less visible. 

Moreover, many people turn to plastic operations due to having congenital anomalies such as facial clefts, duplicated thumbs, cleft lip, Poland syndrome, etc. Some of these abnormalities, like the cleft lip, impede patients from speaking, eating, or breathing correctly. Fortunately, plastic surgeons are experts in making upper lip corrections, which improve patients’ functionality. 

Scar revision is another common procedure that individuals choose after going through an accident, which caused severe scarring. Such operations can be performed with local anesthesia, general anesthesia, or sedation. In some cases, individuals are required to have another operation after a period between sixty to ninety days from the first procedure, as some scars need to mature. 

Hand surgery involves various techniques, such as tendon repair, nerve repair, joint replacement, closed reduction, etc. For instance, tendon injuries are predominantly caused by severe trauma or an infection, manifested with the detachment of some fibers that connect bones with muscles. Nerve injuries to the hand impair the mobility of this part of the arm, some of which require a surgical procedure to be healed. 

Final thoughts

Look for an educated, reputable, experienced, and certified surgeon. 

Never trust your appearance and health in the hands of an inexperienced professional! 

Guest blog by : Kristine