If you’ve always thought cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery were one in the same, you’re not alone. A significant number of plastic surgeons choose to focus their practice on cosmetic surgery, and as such, the terms are often used interchangeably. But this is not technically correct. Cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are closely related specialties, but they are not the same.
What is Plastic surgery?
Plastic surgery is defined as a surgical specialty dedicated to reconstruction of facial and body defects due to birth disorders, trauma, burns, and disease. Plastic surgery is intended to correct dysfunctional areas of the body and is, by definition, reconstructive in nature. Plastic Surgery deals with the repair, reconstruction, or replacement of physical defects of form or function involving the skin, musculoskeletal system, cranio and maxillofacial structures, hand, extremities, breast and trunk, and external genitalia. It uses aesthetic surgical principles not only to improve undesirable qualities of normal structures but in all reconstructive procedures as well.
Plastic surgery is a varied and rewarding technique based specialty that makes a tangible and visible difference to the lives of many children and adults. The work varies from treating burns and performing breast reconstruction after cancer, to carrying out a rhinoplasty, operating on skin cancer, or repairing a cleft lip and palate.
Types Plastic Surgery Procedures:
- Breast Reconstruction
- Burn Repair Surgery
- Congenital Defect Repair: Cleft Palate, Extremity Defect Repair
- Lower Extremity Reconstruction
- Hand Surgery
- Scar Revision Surgery
Plastic surgery training is completed through a post-graduate residency program;
Physicians who become board certified in plastic surgery are required to complete one of two routes of training:
- An integrated residency training that combines three years of general surgery and three years of plastic surgery or;
- An independent, five-year residency program in general surgery followed by the three-year plastic surgery residency program.