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The Difference Between Plastic And Cosmetic Surgeons

Understanding the Difference Between Plastic Versus Cosmetic Surgeons

Suppose you’re interested in aesthetically enhancing your body or face with plastic surgery in Naples, Florida. In that case, you might be tempted to use the word “cosmetic” as an Internet search term. Perhaps you would consider typing in “cosmetic surgeon near me” or “cosmetic surgery in Naples” in order to find skilled plastic surgeons online. After all, cosmetic surgeons, plastic surgeons, what’s the difference?

You might be surprised to learn that there is a significant difference. The professionals at Naples Plastic Surgery have extensive training and are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, 1 of 24 boards recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. This level far exceeds the training that one needs to call themselves a “cosmetic surgeon.” Let’s dig deeper into the difference between plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons.

The Difference Between Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery or Aesthetic surgery is an important skill set for a plastic surgeon. However, not all plastic surgery is cosmetic. Plastic surgery is broadly categorized as either cosmetic or reconstructive. Cosmetic procedures are performed for aesthetic purposes and include everything from Botox® injections to a breast lift. Reconstructive surgery restores the function and appearance of any bodily features that have been impacted by birth defects, trauma, disease, or other medical conditions. Plastic surgeons not only need to manipulate body tissue to restore normal anatomy, but also strive to achieve optimal aesthetics under very challenging conditions.

Meanwhile, a cosmetic surgeon may have only received minimal training in the procedures they are promoting. They are also unlikely to have the reconstructive background that may be required to manage any complications that arise. Plastic surgeons’ longer and more comprehensive training leads to a more extensive and diverse skill set for performing surgery, whether for cosmetic or reconstructive reasons.

Who Can Claim the “Cosmetic” or “Plastic Surgeon” Title

You might be surprised to learn that medical doctors of any specialty can offer cosmetic surgery, even without specialized training in cosmetic surgery techniques. No laws prevent medical professionals from calling themselves cosmetic or plastic surgeons. Thus, board certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery is the best indicator of whether a plastic or cosmetic surgeon has the necessary experience and skills to perform the work.

For a doctor advertising themselves as board certified as a cosmetic surgeon, this might be from the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. The standards for certification with the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery are significantly lower. Additionally, the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery is not officially recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the certifying group for medical specialty boards.

What It Takes to Become a Plastic Surgeon

At a minimum, any plastic surgeon seeking board certification must be fully licensed to practice medicine and undergo at least six years of formal surgical residency training, with at least three of these years in a program focused on plastic surgery. Certification with the American Board of Plastic Surgery requires passing a rigorous written and oral testing process with a 15% to 25% failure rate. Those certified must then maintain their status by participating in continuous professional development and education programs.

Board Certification Key to Finding Highly Skilled Surgeon

As our article suggests, a plastic surgeon is typically more extensively trained, skilled, and experienced than a cosmetic surgeon. However, the best means of evaluating your chosen surgeon’s qualifications is board certification. If you’re thinking about cosmetic surgery evaluate your surgeon to be sure and make sure that they carry certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Consult with Our Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons in Naples

You can be fully confident in our plastic surgeons’ aesthetic and reconstructive surgical capabilities in Naples, Florida, as they are board- or double-board certified. To learn more about our extensive experience and success in helping our patients secure their aesthetic goals, contact Naples Plastic Surgery today at 239.566.2611.

Naples Plastic Surgery is Proud to Serve Patients from Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and All Over the Country!

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