Quite often you hear the terms “plastic surgery” and “cosmetic surgery” used interchangeably, but they are actually not the same. Here is what you need to know when defining the two terms.
What Is Plastic Surgery?
Plastic surgery improves problems with the face and body. These problems may be the result of disease or traumatic injury, or they may have been present since birth. Some problems could be holding the patient back. They may inhibit important body functions or make the patient feel self-conscious. The main reason the patient wants to fix these problems is to improve his or her quality of life.
A good example of a problem that plastic surgery can fix is the cleft palate (also called the cleft lip). Plastic surgery can make the patient look like he or she never had this birth defect. Rhinoplasty is another good example of plastic surgery, when it is performed to fix a nose that causes breathing problems.
What Is Cosmetic Surgery?
Unlike plastic surgery, the main goal of cosmetic surgery is to improve the patient’s appearance. Cosmetic surgery procedures can enhance the face or improve the appearance of other parts of the body.
The most popular and well-known example of cosmetic surgery is breast enhancement to improve the appearance of the breasts. Many body contouring procedures are also well known, including liposuction and the tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty. Each of these cosmetic procedures enhances the patient’s appearance.
There are many different types of cosmetic surgery procedures. Everything from liposuction to facelifts fall into the cosmetic surgery category. Also, when it is done for purely cosmetic reasons, rhinoplasty also falls into this category.
Any procedure with the sole purpose of making the patient look younger and more attractive without fixing any physical dysfunctions at the same time falls into the cosmetic surgery category. Your insurance plan will not cover the costs of cosmetic procedures.
About Your Physician
It is important to understand the difference between a plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon. A plastic surgeon that is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery has gone through rigorous training both in plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery. If a doctor is a cosmetic surgeon, do not assume that he or she has the same intense training as a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
To learn more about plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery, contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation. Flannagan Plastic Surgery serves residents of Evansville and Jasper and the surrounding cities in the tri-state area of Indiana, Northern Kentucky and Illinois.