Cosmetic Surgery

cosmetic surgeryA cosmetic surgery and a plastic surgery basically do the same thing, but there are differences. They both strive to improve appearance. But plastic surgeons have another purpose.

Plastic Surgery

They are all about reconstruction of face and body defects following disease, burns, birth disorders or trauma of some sort. The body part in question isn’t functional, or not functional enough. So the body part is reconstructed, surgically, to be functional and have a better appearance.

Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery is totally elective. The body or facial part is still functioning, as it should. The cosmetic surgeon concentrates on enhancing appearance, rather than reconstruction. It’s all about aesthetics, and not function. The patient isn’t happy with the appearance of the body part, but there’s nothing really wrong with it.

How Does Their Education Differ?

Plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons follow the same educational timeline. Plastic surgery students, following medical school, have to complete a residency program in plastic surgery. They learn competency in surgery on cleft palates, burn injuries, deformities, hand repair and tumors, among other defects.

Cosmetic surgeons, on the other hand, because there’s no residency program in cosmetic surgery, have to complete their residency in general surgery, otolaryngology (head and neck surgery), dermatologic surgery or plastic surgery. After proving their competence in physiology, anatomy, pathology and basic sciences, the physician can then attain board certification in their particular specialty. They then continue their post-residency training specifically in cosmetic surgery. This training can be through various means—a fellowship program where they work one-on-one observing and training with an experienced cosmetic surgeon and/or workshops, seminars and lectures.

Both plastic and cosmetic surgeons, who have proven competence in their field, join a board in their country, to become “Board Certified”.

By all means, if you’re contemplating the services of a cosmetic surgeon, make sure he/she is board certified. Any licensed medical doctor can legally perform cosmetic surgery. You want the best you can get—and that’s board certified.

Are There Risks with Cosmetic Surgery?

You should think carefully when considering cosmetic surgery. As with any surgery, there is some risk. This risk depends on your overall health and the particular type of procedure you’re having. These risks include some scarring, bleeding, infection and even death. Though serious problems are rare, they ARE possible.

Also, you get no guarantees. You may not get the results you want. Plus, the surgery may have to be done again, in the future, since these procedures don’t last forever.

Another thing to consider: medical insurance doesn’t cover cosmetic procedures. It will only cover procedures to improve health or function. But most cosmetic surgical practices will be glad to work with you on a payment plan you can handle.

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