How Cosmetic Surgery Differs From Plastic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery has become near synonymous with plastic surgery, although they are distinctly different fields, albeit closely related. With rapid scientific advances in the field, a majority of plastic surgeons presently choose to focus their practice on cosmetic procedures. The confusion mainly arises from the fact that both cosmetic and plastic surgery involves surgical procedures conducted to change the appearance of one or more parts of the body. But that is where the similarities end. In reality, they are two interrelated yet different specialties. These two fields differ in the following ways:

  1. Goals

Plastic surgery involves surgery that is aimed at reconstructing facial or bodily defects or deformities that have been caused due to a trauma, birth defect, disease or burns. The goal of plastic surgery is thus reconstruction of defects in order to restore normal functioning and appearance of affected areas. Due to the fact that restoring proper functioning of the skin and tissues is the primary concern, aesthetics are not the major motive behind such surgery.

On the other hand, cosmetic surgery is aimed at solely improving the physical appearance of the patient for aesthetic reasons. The main goals are improving or enhancing aesthetic appeal, proportion and symmetry of physical features. Cosmetic surgery is entirely optional and the procedures tend to be more invasive and sometimes dangerous. It is intended more to improve the visual appearance of a body part or area that the person is unhappy or uncomfortable with and may cause them embarrassment or stress.

  1. Procedures

Plastic surgery involves procedures like repairing skin tissue after an accident with skin grafts, scar removal, restoring normal functioning after burn injuries, breast reconstruction after mastectomy, or repair of congenital birth defects such as cleft palates.

Cosmetic surgery, on the other hand, involves appearance-enhancing procedures like liposuction for fat reduction, rhinoplasty for changing nose shape, breast enhancement which involves breast augmentation or reduction, facelifts, skin treatments with lasers, or botox and lip fillers.

Therefore, if someone were looking for a cosmetic dentist in Calgary, they would go to a cosmetic surgeon. However, if someone were looking to remove a scar from a previous major operation, they would go to a plastic surgeon.

  1. Benefits

Both plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery have physical and emotional benefits for its recipients but in different ways.

Plastic surgery has immense physical benefits for the patients as it can heal the patient’s skin or tissue and restore it to a condition where it looks as natural as possible. Emotionally, plastic surgery has been proven to boost people’s self-esteem by eliminating the embarrassment or anxiety that accompanies living with a disfigurement.

Cosmetic surgery too has significant benefits for the person as it can give them increased confidence about a part of their body that they were always unhappy with or were teased about. Cosmetic surgery such as liposuction or nose job can have immense physiological benefits too, for example in cases of overweight people or people with sinus problems.

Thus, both plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery serve different purposes and have different consequences with people undergoing these procedures. However, every operation, major or minor, requires in-depth research and consultation and should be done by a certified professional.

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