December 2015

Cosmetic Surgery Vs. Plastic Surgery – What’s The Difference?

Author: Special to CH2

People have always thought that these are one and the same. However, there is a difference in the medical training received by the physician. A plastic surgeon continues his/her training after a surgical residency, which is normally three years. The plastic surgery fellowship can take up to six to eight years to complete. A cosmetic surgeon is a general surgeon who has completed a one-year cosmetic fellowship.

Cosmetic surgery is focused on enhancing one’s appearance by improving aesthetic appeal, symmetry, and proportion. These procedures include breast enhancement, lifting, reduction, rhinoplasty, facelift, eyelid lift, neck lift, brow lift, tummy tuck, liposuction, Botox®, and filler treatments, to name a few. Because the areas treated function properly, cosmetic surgery is elective.

Plastic surgery is focused on the reconstruction of dysfunctional areas of the body due to birth disorders, trauma, burns, or disease. These procedures include breast reconstruction, burn repair, congenital defects such as cleft palate or extremity defect repair, lower extremity reconstruction, hand surgery, and scar revision.
If you are contemplating undergoing either a cosmetic or reconstructive procedure, your first question should be: “Are you a board certified plastic reconstructive surgeon?”

If you have any questions about cosmetic or reconstructive procedures, please call Dr. Brendan Smith’s office at (843) 705-8940.

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