Learning the Difference Between Plastic Surgeons and Cosmetic Surgeons

Plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons are often talked about as if they were the same. In fact the terms are generally used interchangeably. Before you decide you want to have surgery of a plastic or cosmetic nature, you need to learn the difference between these two medical specialists. Plastic surgeons perform reconstructive work on their patients. They are also qualified to do aesthetic surgery. Cosmetic specialists are only qualified to do the latter. Reconstructive operations are undertaken to restore a part of the face or body that is damaged or abnormal. It could be related to a congenital defect or it may be connected to an accident plastic surgeon michigan or trauma that the individual suffered. Some of the reconstructive procedures that plastic surgeons do save limbs, while others are needed to save the function of a certain body part. These surgeries are covered by health insurance plans because they are deemed as medically necessary for the life and health of the person.

Aesthetic surgery, also more commonly referred to as cosmetic surgery, is a procedure that is performed to improve or enhance a body part or feature of the face that is normal but does not look like the patient wants it to. These operations are elective in nature, which is to say that they are not required to save an individual’s life. Most of the time, insurance providers do not cover aesthetic operations because they are not medically necessary. Both of the types of procedures, reconstructive and aesthetic, can do their part to improve the quality of an individual’s life by helping to increase self-esteem and self-confidence. Cosmetic doctors spend their workdays performing aesthetic procedures only. They do not work on patients injured in fires or car accidents. Cosmetic practitioners enhance regions of the body that have a normal shape to them and function normally. If a person has a bump on the nose that is unsightly but the individual is able to breathe properly, this is a job for an aesthetic medical provider. Any time a rhinoplasty is done to make a normal functioning nose look more appealing, it is considered aesthetic and not reconstructive.

Approximately 200 plastic surgeons are produced at major academic medical institutions across the nation on an annual basis. These professionals look for a residency position right out of medical school. The programs they participate in are known as independent programs or integrated programs. Once in these programs, training in both plastic surgery practices and general surgery takes place. Residents learn how to perform both reconstructive as well as cosmetic procedures at this step in their schooling. The doctor completes their residency in a specialty and then applies for a fellowship in his field of study. As a fellow, further study on reconstructive and aesthetic practices takes place.