Select Page

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a considerable impact on a number of industries in the last year. One of the more surprising industries that have seen an impact is plastic surgery. With more individuals using video conferences than ever before, many are finding that they are unhappy with how they look in videos. This has contributed to the rise in interest in plastic surgery, so it becomes even more important to understand the difference between plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons are. 

Enhance Appearance vs. Repair Physical Abnormalities
Cosmetic surgeons are more focused on enhancing the appearance of a patient. This means that while the patient may not have any physical abnormalities, they would like to enhance a physical part of their appearance with the goal of becoming more confident in their own skin. Plastic surgeons, on the other hand, focus on repairing or reconstructing physical abnormalities that are a result of things like car accidents, trauma, birth defects, and burns. While plastic surgeons are involved in plastic enhancements, they are responsible for helping a patient improve physical appearance. 

Different Education & Training Requirements
While plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons typically complete a number of the same education and training programs, there are some differences to be aware of. Both the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery have detailed information on their training protocols, and there is an additional focus on things like tummy tucks, breast enhancements, and liposuction for cosmetic surgeons. This is due to the fact that they will be primarily focused on enhancement surgeries. Plastic surgeons will receive additional training on handling treatment related to physical abnormalities like physical trauma. 

Approach To Procedures
The initial process before completing a surgery will vary between plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons. Given that plastic surgeons will typically be working on repairing a physical abnormality, they will spend additional time creating a replica of the final product. This ensures that the patient is comfortable with the approach and the surgeon is able to get the surgery completed without complications. While cosmetic surgeons work with patients to determine what they are looking for, they are not working with physical differences that could impact the result of the surgery. Understanding how to approach physical abnormalities will have a large influence on how a plastic surgeon approaches each patient’s situation.

Learn more about how plastic surgery works by visiting