It’s a common misconception that a “plastic surgeon” and a “cosmetic surgeon” are one and the same. Understanding the skill sets that separate these two similar-sounding professions is vital information when it’s time to select someone for your procedure. The differences in plastic surgery vs cosmetic surgery have largely to do with the focus and training of each discipline.
- The focus of cosmetic surgery is to enhance or improve someone’s appearance. When a patient wants to change the shape of their nose, enlarge or reduce the size of their breasts, or have liposuction, a cosmetic surgeon can typically perform these procedures.
- The focus of a plastic surgeon’s training is on reconstructing parts of the body that have been damaged by accident, illness, or other factors. Skin grafts for burn victims or scar reduction are examples of procedures a plastic surgeon will learn during training. Plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery do cover some of the same techniques.
Once someone becomes a board-certified plastic surgeon, expanding that to cosmetic surgery is common. The reverse is not true. Having a board-certified plastic surgeon perform your cosmetic surgery means you’re getting a highly skilled, experienced, and certified surgeon. At least six to eight years of additional post-medical school training is required to become board certified and perform plastic surgery vs cosmetic surgery. Conversely, there are cosmetic surgery programs that require only a B.A. in a pre-med field in order to begin.
You may find that a board-certified plastic surgeon costs more to see than a cosmetic surgeon. You’re not paying more just for a title, but for years of training and experience that translate into a safer and more effective experience overall. That’s the most vital difference vis-à-vis plastic surgery vs cosmetic surgery: the safety and success of your procedure.
To learn more about how a board-certified plastic surgeon can help you achieve the results you want, use Dr. Harris’s contact form or phone 210-545-4848.