Cosmetic vs Plastic
Cosmetic vs Plastic
According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, “Plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery are not interchangeable terms. Confusion about the terms has led to public misconceptions about the two specialties.
Cosmetic surgery is the surgery of appearance. It is elective and focuses on the aesthetics of beauty.” Recognized as its own specialty in 2003 by the American Medical Association, Cosmetic Surgery is performed these days by many specialists in medicine with a variety of backgrounds, including Plastic Surgeons, Otolarygnologists, and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
There are currently no residency programs in the United States devoted exclusively to cosmetic surgery.
Therefore, doctors seeking to learn cosmetic surgery primarily obtain training and experience after completing their residency training. Knowing this fact is necessary to understanding the difference between “cosmetic surgery” and “plastic surgery.” There are fellowships dedicated to cosmetic surgery.
Residency programs in dermatology, general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, and plastic surgery do not include training on every cosmetic procedure.
Plastic surgery, on the other hand is defined as the surgical specialty dedicated to reconstruction of facial and body defects due to birth disorders, trauma, burns and disease. Plastic surgery is intended to correct dysfunctional areas of the body and is reconstructive in nature.
To find the most qualified doctor for a specific cosmetic procedure, you must compare doctors’ overall (residency and post-residency) training, experience and proven competence with respect to that specific cosmetic procedure.
Know that the residency training required to become board certified in plastic surgery may not include training with respect to many common cosmetic procedures.
Therefore the title “board certified plastic surgeon” may indicate certain training and experience with respect to plastic surgery, it does not indicate the same thing with respect to cosmetic surgery, nor does it tell you that the doctor has more or less cosmetic surgery training than a board certified dermatologist, facial plastic surgeon, general surgeon, gynecologist, oral and maxillofacial surgeon, ophthalmologist, otolaryngologist, or other doctor.
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