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Is Cosmetic Surgery the Same Thing as Plastic Surgery?

Published on August 7, 2018 by
Woman receiving injection in lips
Cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are often used interchangeably. While these specialties certainly share a range of similarities, there are several significant differences that separate one from the other. Let’s dig into what makes each of these surgical fields unique.

The Difference Between Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery

Plastic Surgery

The term “plastic surgery” often conjures images of carefully sculpted cheeks and pristine lips. While these types of procedures may fall under the category of plastic surgery, they don’t represent the full scope of the field. Then what is plastic surgery? According to the American College of Surgeons, plastic surgery encompasses “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.” So, while a plastic surgeon may perform cosmetic procedures from time to time, the primary purpose of the field is to address physical abnormalities and other medical issues to restore the patient’s typical appearance and functionality. Examples of plastic surgery procedures include:
  • Lower extremity reconstruction
  • Congenital defect repair
  • Burn repair surgery

Cosmetic Surgery

The basis of the cosmetic surgery field is to enhance appearance through the use of surgery. Cosmetic surgery differs from plastic surgery in that the part of the body that’s addressed by a given procedure typically functions just as it should. That makes most cosmetic surgeries elective procedures, whereas many plastic surgeries are necessary for restoring or maintaining a certain function or feature of the body. Examples of cosmetic surgery procedures include:
  • Rhinoplasty
  • Breast augmentation
  • Liposuction

Learn More About Cosmetic Surgery in Jacksonville, NC

Carolinas Center for Plastic Surgery specializes in cutting-edge cosmetic procedures, including breast augmentation, breast reduction, facelifts, liposuction, and more. We can help provide you with the cosmetic improvements you’ve been longing for. Each procedure we perform is planned carefully around your needs, and our team strives to deliver a comfortable experience from initial conversation through the post-op care process. Schedule your consultation in Jacksonville, North Carolina, today.
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