Do You Know The Difference Between
Plastic Surgeons and Cosmetic Surgeons?
You Really SHOULD. Here’s why…
There is often confusion when it comes to the difference between a plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon. While both professions are dedicated to improving the appearance of their patients, there are some significant differences in the training and qualifications required for each.
Plastic surgeons are medical doctors who have completed a minimum of five years of surgical residency after medical school. During this time, they receive training in a wide range of surgical procedures, including reconstructive surgery, hand surgery, and cosmetic surgery. After completing their residency, plastic surgeons may choose to pursue additional fellowship training in a specific area of plastic surgery, such as craniofacial surgery or microsurgery.
The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is the certifying body for plastic surgeons in the United States. (You can look up your surgeon here on their website.) In order to become board-certified, plastic surgeons must pass rigorous exams and meet strict requirements for training and experience.
Plastic surgeons are trained to perform a variety of surgical procedures, including reconstructive surgery to repair defects or injuries, breast reconstruction following mastectomy, and hand surgery to correct problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome. They may also perform cosmetic procedures such as facelifts, tummy tucks, and liposuction.
Cosmetic surgeons, on the other hand, may come from a variety of medical backgrounds. Some may be dentists, dermatologists, otolaryngologists, gynecologists, or other types of doctors who have received additional training in cosmetic procedures. This additional training is minimal compared to the training demanded by plastic surgery programs.
Unlike plastic surgeons, there is no accredited certifying body for cosmetic surgeons. This means that anyone with a medical degree can legally perform cosmetic procedures, regardless of their training or experience. It is up to the patient to research their doctor’s qualifications and make sure they are choosing someone who is properly trained and experienced in the procedures they are considering.
While cosmetic surgeons may perform many of the same procedures as plastic surgeons, they do not have the same level of training and experience. Period. In short, they are far less qualified than a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon that you find on the ABPS website listed above.
Which Surgeon Should You Choose?
When considering a surgical procedure, it is important to choose a qualified and experienced surgeon who has the training and credentials to perform the procedure safely and effectively. If you are considering a cosmetic procedure, it is particularly important to research your surgeon carefully and make sure they have the appropriate training and experience.
If you are considering a surgical procedure, research your surgeon thoroughly. Do not rely solely on advertising saying they are “board certified” which could be a board of dentistry. Find out specifically which board-certified them and if they are a true plastic surgeon or not. Likewise, never base your decision to go with a particular surgeon just because you like their photos on Instagram. There is a LOT more to getting a safe and effective procedure done.