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One of the most popular reality shows on television at the moment is ‘Botched’.  Viewed on a global basis with a growing global audience, this show presents episodes of patients seeking out plastic and cosmetic surgery.  Celebrity Botched is growing in popularity as a television show looking at celebrities who have experienced surgery to rectify the problems experienced in previous cosmetic or plastic surgeries.

Reality shows are popular and, oddly enough, can increase a person’s knowledge of different topics; however, many individuals continue to confuse the concepts of plastic and cosmetic surgery.  It is commonly seen that people will use the terms interchangeably while there is a distinction between the two professions.  This article will point out the differences between plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery.  Dr. Goldman is a leading cosmetic surgeon in Beachwood, Ohio.

The Aims Of The Different Types Of Surgeries

While the distinct and overall objectives of both plastic and cosmetic surgery are alike, there are certain differences regarding the underlying philosophies.  The primary aim of the surgical procedures is to improve the appearance of the patient; however, the philosophies directing goals, research and training differ remarkably.

It is seen that cosmetic surgery may aim to enhance physical appearance, but it utilizes the principles and procedures to enhance the symmetry, proportion and aesthetic appeal.  This means that the techniques used are treated as normal functions contributing to the development of aesthetic appearance on a commercial level.  The procedures can be completed in all areas of the neck, head, and body.

The cosmetic surgeon’s procedural scope includes the following surgical options:

  • Breast enhancement
  • Breast reduction
  • Breast lift
  • Body contouring
  • Gynecomastia treatment
  • Liposuction
  • Facial contouring
  • Chin or Cheek enhancement
  • Rhinoplasty
  • Brow lift
  • Eyelid lift
  • Face lift
  • Neck lift
  • Botox
  • Rejuvenation filler treatments
  • Skin laser resurfacing

Unlike cosmetic surgery, a plastic surgeon will aim to improve an individual’s physical appearance with the reparation of faults to reconstruct normal function or aesthetic appearance.  The reality shows are typically focused on this if the problems faced are due to botched prior surgeries or physical deformities.

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One of the specialists committed to plastic surgeons is the ability to reconstruct and facial or body defect as a result of birth disorders, disease, trauma, or burns.  Plastic surgical procedures focus on regaining correct functioning through natural reconstruction; therefore, the doctors are required to undergo further surgical training after gaining qualifications in cosmetic surgery.

The plastic surgeon’s procedural scope includes:

  • Congenital defect repair
  • Burn repair surgery
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Hand surgery
  • Cleft palate repair
  • Scar revision surgery
  • Lower extremity reconstruction

The Years Of Training And Experience

As is noted above, a plastic surgeon requires several years more training than a cosmetic surgeon.  To qualify as a plastic surgeon, it is necessary for the physician to obtain plastic surgery board certification.  To obtain this certification residency programs must be completed with an additional two years in the chosen surgical field.  Residency programs can include cosmetic surgery as part of the surgeon’s training; however, they do not usually present with training on each of the cosmetic surgical procedures.

As can be seen, there are differences between cosmetic and plastic surgery.  When choosing a surgeon, it is important to take these differences into account.

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