Most of us think cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are one and the same, but they’re actually quite different types of medicine. Still, many plastic surgeons indeed choose to focus their practice on cosmetic surgery, and they often use the terms interchangeably.
Both cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery aim to improve a patient’s body or face, but the reasons behind these improvements are different. Technically, while cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are closely related specialties, they are distinguished by several factors – as we explain below:
Cosmetic Surgery Is Elective
Cosmetic surgery is focused on enhancing the appearance or aesthetic goals of a patient, so it is elective surgery. Doctors in many fields of medicine have expanded their practice to offer cosmetic surgery – for example, an ear, nose, and throat doctor may also offer cosmetic surgery on the nose (a “nose job”).
Because cosmetic surgery is elective, it is almost never covered by insurance; this is one reason why the costs of cosmetic surgery tend to be more reasonable than regular surgery, because there is no insurance company in the middle, but rather the bill is directly and fully paid by the patient.
Plastic Surgery Is Reconstructive
Plastic surgery is done to correct a deformity or injury, and it is often covered by insurance. This surgery may be necessary to correct everything from birth defects to burn injuries.
Doctors who practice plastic surgery usually have specific medical training and certifications, including a postgraduate residency program in reconstructive surgery.
To become a board-certified plastic surgeon, a practitioner must complete medical school followed by at least six years of training, including at least three years in a plastic surgery residency program. Some plastic surgery residency programs can include cosmetic surgery as a portion of a surgeon’s training, but they do not train on every cosmetic procedure.
Training Differs Between Plastic Surgeons and Cosmetic Surgeons
Once a practitioner has completed their residency training, they may move on to cosmetic surgery training. They usually complete this at a post-residency fellowship.
A surgeon may have skills in reconstructive surgery, but a cosmetic surgeon should ideally have a fellowship specifically in cosmetic surgery.
Surgeries They Can Perform Are Different
To become a board-certified cosmetic surgeon, it requires specialized and extended training, experience, and knowledge. Board certification comes from the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery and requires that a practitioner complete at least one year of fellowship training exclusively in cosmetic surgery.
This fellowship provides experience in all types of cosmetic surgery procedures, from head to toe. The training also includes nonsurgical cosmetic treatments.
Cosmetic Surgeon in New Jersey
It’s extremely important to do your research when choosing a cosmetic surgeon, as not all are truly board-certified in cosmetic surgery. If you’re looking for a respected and experienced board-certified cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Louis Iorio at the Iorio Plastic Surgery & Medspa is here to serve you.
Double board-certified and fellowship-trained, Dr. Iorio offers superior plastic and cosmetic treatments to his clients. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us today at our Colts Neck location at 732-780-9191 or our Brick location at 732-458-7400, or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you look and feel spectacular!