Cosmetic Surgery and Plastic Surgery – What is the Difference?
The terms cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are often used interchangeably but there are actually important differences between the two.
Plastic surgery refers to operations which repair damaged tissue, for example, breast reconstruction after a mastectomy or repairing damage from an accident such as skin grafts to treat burns. Plastic surgery is also used to correct congenital conditions such as a cleft palate. Procedures like these are designed to restore and heal the patient’s skin and tissue so that it functions and looks as natural as possible. Plastic surgery can also help improve a patient’s self esteem such as with post mastectomy breast reconstruction where the aim is to rebuild the tissue of the breasts.
Cosmetic surgery uses reconstructive principles and techniques to either improve or restore appearances. These procedures are intended to make people appear more attractive or in proportion and to improve self esteem. There are lots of different types of cosmetic surgery from the better known procedures such as facelifts, liposuction and nose reshaping to more niche areas such as hair replacement, buttock augmentation and arm lifts. One of the most popular forms of cosmetic surgery is breast surgery which includes enlargement, reduction and repositioning with breast uplift surgery. Breast surgery is classed as a cosmetic procedure because the operation enhances a woman’s normal body structure and doesn’t repair damaged tissue, unlike post mastectomy breast reconstruction. Often people choose to have cosmetic surgery to tackle the signs of ageing, breast lift surgery for example is used to reposition drooping breasts and many facial procedures such as facelifts and fillers are designed to reduce wrinkles and sagging skin.
No matter what surgery you are considering, always talk through your options with a medical professional before making any decisions on procedures. Plastic surgeons who are used to doing reconstructive surgery are natural choices for cosmetic surgery.