Understand The Differences Between Plastic And Cosmetic Surgery

When people think about having surgery done to improve their physical appearance, they often interchange the terms “plastic surgery” and “cosmetic surgery” quite easily. There are a number of important differences between the two, however, and you should know them before you begin to search for the best cosmetic surgeons in Houston.

The Primary Differences between Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery

1. Perhaps the greatest difference between the two fields is that plastic surgery encompasses a much wider area of practice, joining the fields of reconstructive surgery and aesthetic surgery. Thus, cosmetic surgery is actually a sub-set of plastic surgery. “Plastic surgery” can refer to everything from restoring a body part that is abnormally formed at birth or an arm that has been deformed as a result of an accident. Some plastic surgery is done to save a life or limb and is covered by insurance because it is medically necessary, quite a different procedure than a tummy tuck.

2. Cosmetic surgery is also called “aesthetic surgery” because it is done to improve a largely normal body part. So, think of the wider field of plastic surgery as restoring an abnormal body part, while the smaller field of cosmetic surgery is working on an otherwise normal body part, no matter how big you think your nose is! The fact is, your nose is “normal” if you can breathe through it without significant problems. As a result, cosmetic surgery is called an elective procedure, meaning that it is not absolutely necessary to save one’s life, ergo it is not medically necessary or covered by insurance.

3. In view of the two points above, when you are looking for the best cosmetic surgeons in Houston, for example, you need to know that very few true plastic surgeons are trained and certified each year. Plastic surgeons can do both reconstructive and cosmetic procedures, as well as other surgeries learned in medical school. On the other hand, cosmetic surgeons do not necessarily have to complete extensive training and certification. Some might have had little or no training in surgery at all.

What These Differences Mean For You

What does all of this mean for you as you seek out the absolute best cosmetic surgeons in Houston? It means that you need to look for cosmetic surgeons that are licensed plastic surgeons. If, while beginning your research in preparation for cosmetic surgery, the prospective surgeon is not quick to tell you about his/her training in plastic surgery, beware!

The best cosmetic surgeons in Houston have been thoroughly trained and are board certified. They not only know how to do a certain procedure, they can handle any complications that might result from the surgery because of their training.

It’s your body, and the only one you have. When you elect to undergo cosmetic surgery, you must realize that the results will almost always be permanent. That is precisely why you need to find a plastic surgeon who does cosmetic surgery, not a cosmetic surgeon who was trained in family practice and is doing a bit of aesthetic surgery on the side to meet his/her bills.