Beauty and Anti Aging

What Is The Difference Between A Cosmetic Surgeon And A Plastic Surgeon?

What Is The Difference Between A Cosmetic Surgeon And A Plastic Surgeon?

Cosmetic Surgeon vs. Plastic Surgeon

A cosmetic surgeon is a person who has trained and specialized in cosmetic surgery which involves the art of using techniques of medicine and surgery to enhance a person’s looks and appearance.

A plastic surgeon, on the other hand, is a specialist involved in reconstruction of affected facial and body parts. This can include correction of birth defects to reconstructing a person who has developed defects due to an accident or getting burnt.

Is There Any Difference Between Cosmetic Surgery And Plastic Surgery?

Many people across the world assume that cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery mean the same thing and these terms are used interchangeably as many plastic surgeons choose to focus their practice on cosmetic surgery.Though these surgeries are closely related specialties, they are not the same.

There are two ways of how cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are classified.

The first classification is that there are those who consider cosmetic surgery a branch of plastic surgery. Such experts define plastic surgery as generally any surgery done on a person to change or reconstruct a part of that person’s body and this is inclusive of those done to change your physical appearance.

Secondly, other experts view cosmetic surgery as an independent discipline by itself and they thus consider the two (plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery) as separate entities. Cosmetic surgery is termed as surgery or procedures done to improve your outward physical looks while plastic surgery is considered surgery done only for reconstructive purposes and not beauty.

What Really Is The Difference Between A Cosmetic Surgeon And A Plastic Surgeon?

There is a huge difference between a cosmetic surgeon and a plastic surgeon as seen from the information above. The deviation between the two disciplines lies in the differences across their professions. This is mainly observed in the functions that they perform. The functions of both the cosmetic surgeons and the plastic surgeons are further explained below.


  • The Functions of a Cosmetic Surgeon
    A cosmetic surgeon mainly focuses on beauty and the outward physical appearance and looks of a person. He/she seeks to make a person appear more attractive and also make them feel better about themselves.

    Some of the specialties that a cosmetic surgeon partakes in include the following:

    • Breast enlargement
    • Nose reconstructions which may be in form of nose uplifts, nose jobs or giving your nose a new shape
    • Surgery of the eyelids
    • Face lifts
    • Liposuction
    • Breast reduction
    • Abdominoplasty
    • Breast lifts
    • Buttock lifts
    • Otoplasty

      The above are just a few, however there are many more surgeries and procedures performed by a cosmetic surgeon. 

      Cosmetic surgeons also have to verify and ensure that their clients are ready to have changes made on their bodies. This is because most of these changes are permanent and therefore, they require you to be sure if it is really what you want.

  • The Functions of a Plastic Surgeon
    A plastic surgeon, as explained earlier, engages in reconstruction of body parts with defects to improve their functioning. These defects may have been gotten originally at birth or during an accident.

    Some of the procedures that they undertake are inclusive of the following listed below:

    • Hand surgery
    • Surgery to repair burns
    • Reconstruction of breasts
    • Reconstruction of congenital defects, for example, the cleft palate.

The training of plastic surgeons is far different from that of cosmetic surgeons. Since plastic surgery is a more complex procedure, plastic surgeons receive greater extensive training than cosmetic surgeons. They also take more years to learn about the practice than cosmetic surgeons.

The training differs as the goals of the two occupations are different. It is however possible for a plastic surgeon to advance their studies in order to become cosmetic surgeons too. But this does not mean that cosmetic surgeons receive any less education and training.

Cosmetic surgeons also receive extensive training on their field of practice. A cosmetic surgeon can also specialize in their training to deal with specific parts of the body such as the neck or the head.

How to Get a Surgeon Who Does Cosmetic Surgery or Plastic Surgery?

Plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery are two important fields that help improve our lives. However, it may become a challenge when it comes to getting a qualified plastic surgeon and especially, a cosmetic surgeon.

This is because on most occasions, plastic surgeons may be present in government hospitals to attend to those who may need their help, but cosmetic surgeons mainly operate in private sectors. When people go out to seek their (cosmetic surgeon) services, they may have a hard time knowing which cosmetic surgeon to trust.

There are many people out there who may claim to be experienced cosmetic surgeons and are not. Cosmetic surgery can actually be performed by most doctors who have had a bit of the training. To avoid any complications, always ensure that you confirm if the cosmetic surgeon you sought out is registered under the board that regulates them in your country.

Such boards only accept plastic surgeons or cosmetic surgeons who have received the required training and experience. Such information may be obtained from the internet or the medical board of your state. Ensure you compare your surgeon’s qualifications with the requirements for the procedure you would like to have done.

The Bottom Line

A cosmetic surgeon and a plastic surgeon differ a lot in quite a few ways. They should not be confused or assumed to be similar. Each practice has its own unique qualities and they are not alike in any way.

Sometimes, people may decide to receive a cosmetic surgery just because they feel they are not good looking enough. This may be due to psychological problems such as low self-esteem or emotional instabilities. Cosmetic surgeons may refer such a person to a psychologist first so that they receive counseling and get a chance to rethink their decision.

Remember also to make sure that you are well aware of the kind of surgeon you are dealing with in order to ascertain yourself that you will receive the best medical care.