What is Plastic Surgery? Plastic Surgery VS Cosmetic Surgery, Which Is Best

In comparison, cosmetic surgery training is limited to cosmetic enhancements. Many plastic surgeons, however, do cosmetic treatments as part of their regular patient care.

Though there are many highly qualified cosmetic and plastic surgeons, it is helpful to understand the differences between the two types of surgeons to evaluate their backgrounds and skills objectively.

What is plastic surgery?

In the field of plastic surgery, aesthetic and functional procedures coexist. Repairing the form and function of the body following trauma, disease, or congenital disability is what reconstructive surgery is all about. Cosmetic operations and concepts are included in the broad scope of plastic and reconstructive surgeries covered throughout residency training. Residency is the standard time for learning the skills necessary to practice plastic surgery.

What is cosmetic surgery?

Cosmetic surgery includes any operation performed to improve one’s outward look, whether by changing one’s facial or body proportions, adding or removing facial or bodily features, or creating more excellent symmetry.

When a patient chooses to have surgery performed on a non-essential part of their body, we call that a “elective cosmetic procedure.” Cosmetic surgeons learn about aesthetics, while facial cosmetic surgeons specialise in just the head and neck. It is possible to find a highly trained and experienced surgeon to perform a neck lift surgery in Pakistan. While surgical residents learn the basics of their specialty, most cosmetic surgeons obtain experience in the field after graduating.

Cosmetic vs Plastic Surgery

Cosmetic and plastic surgery share similar procedures and instruments.

Many of the procedures used by plastic surgeons to repair damaged tissue and rebuild lost structures are also performed by cosmetic surgeons. In plastic surgery, breast reconstruction following cancer treatment is a fundamental technique, yet cosmetic breast augmentation is a highly sought-after option.

Plastic or facial reconstruction may be covered by health insurance, but cosmetic operations are not.

Although insurance companies may cover reconstructive plastic surgery, aesthetic procedures are almost generally considered elective since patients decide to have them done even though they are not medically essential.

Plastic and cosmetic surgeons hold different board certifications.

Learning how to perform plastic and reconstructive surgery is often accomplished during a medical residency. Surgeons can become board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery once they have demonstrated the requisite clinical experience beyond their residency (ABPS).

To become board-certified in plastic surgery, one must:

  • School of Medicine
  • Plastic and reconstructive surgery residencies

A post-residency fellowship is where most people get their cosmetics training. Cosmetic surgeons who perform procedures on the head, face, and neck can get certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS). In contrast, those focusing solely on facial cosmetic surgery can become certified by the American Board of Facial Cosmetic Surgery (ABFCS). Certified cosmetic surgeons from the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) or the American Board of Facial Cosmetic Surgery (ABFCS) must also be board-certified in another subspecialty of surgery.

Board certification in cosmetic surgery needs both formal surgical training and considerable, documented expertise in cosmetic surgery. An individual can earn board certification as a cosmetic surgeon in one of two ways. To begin with, surgeons may initially enrol in medical school:

  • Getting a degree in medicine.
  • Residency.
  • Certification by the primary board in the field of residency.
  • Either fellowship training in cosmetic surgery or significant prior expertise with facial cosmetic surgery.
  • Complete the board certification process with flying colours.

In addition, the following path can lead to board certification in facial cosmetic surgery for oral and maxillofacial surgeons:

  • Choose between a single (DDS/DMD) or double (DDS/DMD) degree.
  • Training and experience in oral and maxillofacial surgery through a residency program met all requirements.
  • Certification by the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Board of the American Dental Association.
  • Either fellowship training in cosmetic surgery or significant prior expertise with facial cosmetic surgery.
  • Complete the board certification process with flying colours.

Cosmetic surgeons concentrate on aesthetic operations, while plastic surgeons perform a variety of surgery.

Cosmetic surgeons who wish to become board certified must complete a cosmetic surgery fellowship lasting one to two years following residency or show that they have undergone training of similar rigour in private practice. Surgeons must demonstrate their expertise in a set number of routine cosmetic surgeries before taking the board exam.

Reconstructive operations to improve function and restore appearance following injury, illness, or a congenital disease are a significant focus of plastic surgery residency training. Although aesthetic procedures are covered, this is not the primary focus of the training. The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) requires that candidates for board certification have completed training in 12 different categories of procedures, including burn reconstruction, surgery of the hand, and craniomaxillofacial trauma surgery. While some plastic surgeons may seek post-residency fellowships to specialise in aesthetic surgery, further training is not required for board certification.

Experienced Surgeon 

In selecting a surgeon for cosmetic surgery in Lahore, your first consideration should be your surgeon. You should look into your options and choose a plastic surgeon who specializes in the cosmetic procedure you want. However, any doctor who has passed the necessary licencing requirements can do cosmetic treatments. If you opt for cosmetic surgery, you’ll be treated by a professional whose main focus is ensuring your procedure is safe and effective.

Which One is Best 

Cosmetic surgery is considered a personal choice because the improved regions still serve their functional purpose but have a diminished aesthetic appeal. Plastic surgery is a subspecialty that focuses on fixing face and body problems caused by birth abnormalities, accidents, and burns.


All plastic surgeons are extensively trained to conduct both reconstructive and aesthetic/cosmetic procedures; however, not all cosmetic surgeons are plastic surgeons and vice versa. Ultimately, it is vital to know the background and experience of the surgeon you are considering for any cosmetic or aesthetic operation. Check with your state’s medical board to ensure you’re seeing a board-certified plastic surgeon whose practice is dedicated to cosmetic procedures.

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