As the cosmetic surgery industry in the United States grows people often wonder what the difference between cosmetic and plastic surgery is. While technically speaking cosmetic surgery is plastic surgery, the reverse is not necessarily true. Cosmetic surgery is typically done to improve someone’s appearance or to try and slow down the aging process, plastic surgery also include reconstructive procedures as well. Plastic surgery for medical reasons is quite different from a cosmetic procedure, let’s look at the two.
Common Plastic Surgery Procedures
Breast Implants: Breast augmentation is by far the most common procedure performed by cosmetic surgeons. It isn’t just for Hollywood stars anymore now average women are choosing cosmetic surgery for themselves. Also it should be noted that augmentation is also done after a woman has had breast cancer and undergone a mastectomy. That is considered by many to be a medical reason for plastic surgery.
Breast Reduction: While breast reduction can be done simply for cosmetic reasons often it is done to alleviate back and neck pain from carrying heavy breasts. Women who have lost significant amounts of weight and are left with sagging breast may also get them lifted because of the loss of elasticity in their breasts. Often it is people who have lost 100lbs or more that have these types of surgeries done.
Facial Surgeries: There are a variety of plastic surgeries that are performed on a patient’s face, some strictly for cosmetic purposes and others for medical reasons. Here are some of the more common surgeries.
- Rhinoplasty can be done to correct sleep apnea or a deviated septum. It can also be done just to change the shape of the nose to make it more aesthetically pleasing.
- Facial surgery is often done to remove skin cancer while keeping the scarring and damage to the face to a minimum.
- Repairing a cleft lip is also a common yet medically necessary procedure that corrects a malformation.
Patients may need reconstructive surgery for a variety of reasons, for example burn victims often need extensive reconstructive surgery, the same may apply to anyone who has been in an accident. Plastic surgeons don’t just perform cosmetic procedures, it is often a plastic surgeon that will reattach a limb for an accident victim.