Differences between Plastic Surgeon and Cosmetic Surgeon

It’s a common misconception that cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are one and the same.

It’s a fact that many plastic surgeons prefer to focus their practice on cosmetic surgery and the terms are usually used interchangeably.


However, from a technical point of view, this is not correct. Although cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are specialities that are closely related to each other they are not the same.

While researching about, say, the breast lift cost Armidale according to PCLS Coffs Harbour, you should also check the doctor’s speciality.

Different Goals

The goals of cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are different although both of them are done to improve patients’ body.

What is Cosmetic Surgery?

Cosmetic surgery is entirely focused on patients’ appearance. Improving proportion, symmetry and aesthetic appeal are the main goals.

Cosmetic surgeries can be performed on all areas of body. Since they are done on areas that function properly, they are designated as elective.

Cosmetic elective surgeries are done by doctors from various medical fields including plastic surgeons.

Types of Cosmetic Surgeries

  • Face: Facelift, Neck Lift, Eyelid Lift, Brow Lift
  • Face: Chin or Cheek Enhancement, Rhinoplasty
  • Breast: Breast Lift, Breast Augmentation, Breast Reduction
  • Body Contouring: Liposuction, Tummy Tuck, Gynaecomastia Treatment
  • Skin: Filler Treatments, Laser Resurfacing, Botox

What is Plastic Surgery?

Plastic surgery is a surgical speciality designed to reconstruct facial and body deformities due to birth defects, burns, trauma and disease.

Plastic surgeries are reconstructive in nature and rectify dysfunctional areas of the body.

Types of Plastic Surgeries

  • Breast Reconstruction
  • Burn Repair
  • Hand Surgery
  • Congenital Defect Repair: Extremity Defect Repair, Cleft Palate
  • Lower Extremity Reconstruction
  • Scar Revision Surgery


Cosmetic Surgery Training Should be Taken Separately from Plastic Surgery Training

Since plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery have different treatment goals, their training and certification process look different from each other.

Plastic surgery training is completed with a post-graduate residency program. The residency program has two routes:

  1. A combined program of three years of general surgery and three years of plastic surgery
  2. A five-year residency program in general surgery followed by three-year plastic surgery residency program

Plastic surgery residency program may include cosmetic surgery as a portion of the training, but usually doesn’t include training in every cosmetic procedure.

Cosmetic surgery training is completed basically with residency training. Cosmetic surgeons basically get training and experience in their residency program.

Plastic surgeons can even choose to have 12 or more years of additional cosmetic and reconstructive surgical training.They then have the recognition by Medical Board of Australiaas a Specialist.

Most Specialists have studied in the top Australian universities and have work together with world leaders in plastic surgery during their internship or volunteer work abroad.

They typically work with very experienced general anaesthetists and use fully-asleep forms anaesthesia.

It’s extremely essential to do your research while choosing someone like an expert breast augmentation surgery in Armidale at PCLS Coffs Harbour, for example.

To find the appropriately qualified doctor for a particular cosmetic procedure, you should compare the overall training of the doctor, their experience and proven efficiency regarding that particular cosmetic procedure.

Understand the difference between the specialities of the doctors and choose the most appropriate doctor for the particular procedure you want to undergo. This will ensure your likeliness of success.

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