Is Cosmetic Surgery Different Than Plastic Surgery? Yes!

Jun 5, 2018 | Plastic Surgery | 0 comments

In a world where mommy makeovers, body contouring treatments and breast augmentation have become mainstream, there is still much confusion around cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery. The terms are frequently used interchangeably, yet they refer to two separate categories of surgery and more importantly, have respective specialists, which should be considered when choosing a doctor to perform your surgery.

Cosmetic Surgery Provides Surgical Enhancement: Liposuction, Breast Augmentation and More

“Cosmetic surgery is a unique discipline of medicine focused on enhancing appearance through surgical and medical techniques, “ according to the California Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. It focuses on enhancing or reshaping properly functioning areas of the body, to improve appearance and confidence. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons indicates ideal candidates for Cosmetic Surgery are healthy individuals who have positive, realistic expectations.
The number of people opting to enhance their appearance with Cosmetic Surgery continues to rise after 1.8 million treatments were performed in 2017. Cosmetic treatments can treat the entire body and include, but are not limited to:

Dissatisfaction with breast size and shape plagues both women and men. Breast augmentation is common after pregnancy, weight loss, or simply a desire to change the size or shape. Additionally, many men find themselves self conscious about their breast size and see no changes with weight loss. In all of these cases cosmetic breast surgery can help to boost self esteem. In 2017, breast augmentation was the top cosmetic procedure performed and continues to rise in popularity.


From facelifts to rhinoplasties (nose jobs), more and more people are consulting cosmetic surgeons to remedy facial feature insecurities. Facial rejuvenation treatments span from minimally invasive injectables to surgery. Your Cosmetic Surgeon will advise you on which treatments will most realistically meet your expectations.


Both surgical and non-surgical body contouring treatments saw an increase in 2017 and continue to increase this year. The leading body contouring surgical procedures are liposuction and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Body sculpting procedures can be combined to achieve a patient’s desired results. It’s important to work closely with your surgeon to understand both the timeline and realistic results that you can expect from your treatment.

Plastic Surgery Provides Surgical Repair: Breast Reconstruction, Congenital Defect Repair and More

Plastic Surgery, is commonly referred to as Reconstructive Surgery. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, it is performed to treat parts of the body that are aesthetically or functionally affected by developmental abnormalities, trauma, or disease. The number of reconstructive surgeries remains similar year over year. In 2017, surgeons performed 5.8 million reconstructive surgeries, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Although there are many individuals offering and performing both cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries, it is of the utmost importance that you work with someone who is not only competent, but certified in their field. According to Dr. Marcel Malek for the American Society of Plastic Surgery, “The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the only board acknowledged and approved by the National Board of Medical Specialities. That means members certified by that board are held to the highest standards as it pertains to skills, knowledge, judgement, safety and ethics in that particular speciality.”

By choosing to work with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, you are not only ensuring that you receive the safest, best quality treatment, but that you will be properly taken care of should a complication arise during or post surgery. Most Doctors readily display their credentials both on their website and in their office, however, if you are unsure or would like to know more about your doctor’s qualifications, speciality or experience, just ask!