Cosmetic plastic surgery includes surgical and nonsurgical procedures that reshape normal structures of the body in order to improve appearance and self-esteem. Healthy individuals with a positive outlook and realistic expectations are appropriate candidates for cosmetic procedures. Plastic surgery is a personal choice and should be done for yourself, not to fulfill someone else's desires or to try to fit an ideal image.
While both cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery deal with improving a patient's body, the overarching philosophies guiding the training, research, and goals for patient outcomes are different.
The procedures, techniques, and principles of cosmetic surgery are entirely focused on enhancing a patient's appearance. Improving aesthetic appeal, symmetry, and proportion are the key goals. Cosmetic surgery can be performed on all areas of the head, neck, and body. Because the treated areas function properly, cosmetic surgery is elective. Cosmetic surgery is practiced by doctors from a variety of medical fields, including plastic surgeons.
Plastic surgery is defined as a surgical specialty dedicated to reconstruction of facial and body defects due to birth disorders, trauma, burns, and disease. Plastic surgery is intended to correct dysfunctional areas of the body and is reconstructive in nature. While many plastic surgeons choose to complete additional training and perform cosmetic surgery as well, the basis of their surgical training remains reconstructive plastic surgery.