Plastic Surgery: Understanding the Difference Between a Plastic Surgeon and a Cosmetic Surgeon

As an expert in the field of plastic surgery, I have seen firsthand the consequences of choosing an unqualified professional to perform a surgical procedure. Poor plastic surgery results or “plastic surgery failures” are often due to a lack of proper training and qualifications. This is why it is crucial to understand the difference between a plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon. Plastic surgery is a specialized field dedicated to reconstructing facial and body defects caused by congenital disorders, injuries, burns, and diseases. Its primary goal is to correct dysfunctional areas of the body, making it a reconstructive rather than cosmetic procedure.While many plastic surgeons also perform cosmetic surgery, their training and qualifications are rooted in reconstructive plastic surgery.

In fact, the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons changed its name to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in 1999 to emphasize that plastic and reconstructive surgeons are one and the same. In contrast, cosmetic surgeons focus solely on aesthetics and have completed a 1-year fellowship certified by the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. During this fellowship, they receive extensive training in all types of cosmetic procedures, both surgical and non-surgical, and must perform a minimum of 300 individual procedures. This fellowship is in addition to completing a 3- to 5-year residency program in a related discipline. While it may seem like plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons are interchangeable terms, there are significant differences between these two types of surgeons. A plastic surgeon considers how a patient's anatomy affects their overall health and well-being, while a cosmetic surgeon focuses solely on improving their appearance. Dr.

Myers, a board-certified plastic surgeon, emphasizes the importance of choosing a qualified surgeon by looking for the logo of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. A reputable surgeon will expect you to ask questions and should be able to provide you with all the necessary information about their qualifications and experience. When considering plastic surgery, it is essential to plan carefully and choose a qualified surgeon. The main difference between a plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon is that the former specializes in reconstructing and resolving anatomical anomalies, while the latter focuses on enhancing appearance through cosmetic procedures. In addition to completing a residency program, many plastic surgery trainees also undergo an aesthetic fellowship to gain further experience in cosmetic surgery. While procedures like Botox and breast augmentation may come to mind when thinking of plastic surgery, there are significant differences between what a cosmetic surgeon and a plastic surgeon can do. One crucial factor to consider when choosing a surgeon for your cosmetic procedure is whether they are recognized by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

To become an ASPS member, surgeons must be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. They must also complete at least six years of surgical training after medical school, including a minimum of three years in plastic surgery. It is worth noting that while plastic surgery residency programs may include some training in cosmetic procedures, they do not cover all types of cosmetic surgery. Plastic surgery is a specialized field that focuses on reconstructing anatomy for both medical and aesthetic purposes. In Canada, patients must apply for certification from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada before undergoing any surgical procedure.