While the terms “cosmetic surgery” and “plastic surgery” are often used interchangeably by the layman, they are in fact different terms meaning different things. Although the two specialities are closely related, and many plastic surgeons focus themselves entirely on cosmetic surgery, there are significant differences. Cosmetic surgery, as the name would suggest, focuses on the aesthetic, and the enhancement of one’s appearance. So it includes the more popular procedures, such as breast enlargements or reductions, rhinoplasty, tummy tucks, eyelid lifts and liposuction. It is classed as elective surgery, meaning a procedure where there is no medical emergency and which can therefore be scheduled in advance at the behest of the patient.
Plastic surgery, however, devotes itself to reconstruction and repair. Facial and bodily defects caused by birth disorders, trauma, disease or burns will be treated by a plastic surgeon, and reconstructive plastic surgery forms the basis of the training for any cosmetic or plastic surgeon, no matter which of the two they may later choose to specialise in. Being considered an essential form of surgery, plastic surgery is often available on the National Health Service, which cosmetic surgery, being entirely by choice, is usually not covered.
However, this is not to say that cosmetic surgery is frivolous, or a waste of money. Human beings are very visual creatures, and our appearance can be very important both in the way others see us and the ways in which we see ourselves. If you are unhappy with the way you look, it can impact on your self-esteem which in turn can have deleterious consequences for your mental and emotional well-being. For this reason facial procedures are very popular, whether that’s a non-surgical procedure such as botox to revitalise the skin and reduce the visual effects of ageing, or surgery to correct or change the shape of one’s nose.
Of course, as with all medical procedures, it is important to make sure you see a reputable practitioner for what is obviously a very big commitment, and also to familiarise yourself with your after-care procedure beforehand to ensure that you face the least discomfort and the fastest healing.
If you would like more information on any aesthetic plastic or cosmetic surgery please contact me via my website here or via the links below.
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