Plastic Surgery vs. Cosmetic Surgery
Many people often make the mistake of confusing the two distinct terms of plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery as being synonymous when in fact in reality there is a clear and rigidly defined difference in definition. Plastic surgery is surgery which is undertaken by surgeons to repair damages to skin and tissue that may have resulted from congenital and other diseases, or injuries. Aesthetic in plastic surgery is second to medical concerns when dealing with appearance, and whilst it still forms an important concern to be taken into account, the main objective of plastic surgery is in returning the skin or tissue to a normal state, rather than looking to improve, reshape or remould it in any way.
In contrast to this, cosmetic surgery is surgery undertaken by the participant electively in order to improve their own physical appearance for aesthetic purposes solely. Whereas some typical procedures of plastic surgery may include correcting cleft palates, reconstructive breast surgery, and skin repair, cosmetic surgery involves procedures such as liposuction, tummy tucks, breast augmentation, face lifts, and nose jobs.
Cosmetic surgery is non-essential surgery but that is not to say that it should be on any account overlooked as an important factor which plays a crucial role in many people’s lives. In surgery the number of people seeking cosmetic surgery has ballooned in recent years, showing 31% increases from 2003 to 2008, where 91% of those procedures were performed on women, making them an important but vulnerable market for cosmetic surgery.
Eyelid surgery and breast reductions prove popular amongst both men and women, whilst more gender popular procedures include tummy tucks for women, compared with liposuction for men, and breast augmentation for women, whilst men, having been denied the cultural tolerance of larger breasts, tend to opt for the much more socially conventional rhinoplasty.
Also popular were face surgery and neck surgery for women, and ear pinning for men. These are just a few of the myriad different procedures available within cosmetic surgery, and do not give a complete picture of the entire practice, but hopefully they serve to highlight some of the key differences between plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery whilst also highlighting some of the preferences and key procedures carried out within the practice itself and the gender specific functions and popularities of some procedures over others.
Plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery are often used as interchangeable phrases, and if anything at the very least I hope this article has helped in whatever small way it can to add to the correct usage of these two very different terms.