Cosmetic Surgery vs. Plastic Surgery
Selecting the best surgeon for a particular operation requires an understanding of the types of surgeries they perform. Many people assume that cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are the same, but these similar disciplines serve different purposes.
What Is Cosmetic Surgery?
Cosmetic surgery focuses primarily on aesthetics, or improving one’s appearance. This is what many people think of when they hear the term “plastic surgery,” and they’re not necessarily incorrect; cosmetic surgery is a form of plastic surgery. However, it’s completely elective and is typically performed on patients who are healthy but wish to change their appearance to improve their confidence. With a few exceptions, cosmetic surgery is typically not covered by medical insurance. Examples of plastic surgery include:
- Breast augmentation and lift
- Tummy tuck
- Face, neck, and brow lift
What Is Plastic Surgery?
Plastic surgery is a general term that includes both cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery, in which a patient undergoes an operation to repair or correct areas of the body that are affected by accidents, injuries, or medical conditions. In these instances, medical insurance often covers at least a portion of the operation(s). The primary training of plastic surgeons involves reconstructive operations, so all plastic surgeons are qualified to perform this type of surgery; they must receive additional training and education to specialize in cosmetic surgery. Reconstructive plastic surgery includes, but is not limited to:
- Breast reconstruction
- The repair of cleft palates and other congenital defects
- Hand and lower extremity surgery
- Burn repair and scar revision
- Choosing the Right Surgeon
When weighing cosmetic vs. plastic surgery, a patient should be aware of exactly the type of procedure they’re seeking. Because they are qualified to perform both reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery, a board-certified plastic surgeon offers the skills and expertise to complete elective and corrective operations. Conversely, cosmetic surgeons are highly trained to specialize solely in providing cosmetic or aesthetic surgeries.
William Franckle, MD, FACS is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has extensive experience providing both cosmetic and reconstructive operations. An award-winning surgeon and member of several medical societies throughout New Jersey and the United States, he takes a knowledgeable, friendly approach to meeting each patient’s individual needs. Explore our before and after gallery to view his cosmetic surgery results.