The terms “cosmetic surgeon” and “plastic surgeon” are often used interchangeably, but cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are actually two distinct specialties. Both surgeons perform procedures on the face, neck and body, but the goal of their practice differs. There are a few aspects of each profession that separate them including:

Patient Goals

The field of cosmetic surgery focuses entirely on improving the patient’s appearance. This usually involves enhancing the patient’s perceived attractiveness or correcting asymmetry. Generally, any procedure performed to help the patient reach their aesthetic goals is considered cosmetic.  

Conversely, plastic surgery focuses on repairing areas of the body to restore normal function, while also taking appearance into consideration. Plastic surgeons offer breast reconstruction, birth defect repair and other restorative procedures. Cosmetic surgery is often deemed elective, but plastic surgery is sometimes medically necessary.

Surgical Training

The training for a cosmetic surgeon has separate requirements than training for a plastic surgeon. Because plastic surgeons largely focus on reconstruction, they take surgical courses that emphasize restorative procedures such as trauma surgery and hand surgery. Plastic surgeons also undergo cosmetic surgery training, but not to the extent of a cosmetic surgeon. A cosmetic surgeon must complete training on a variety of cosmetic procedures including liposuction, breast surgery and facelifts.

If you’re interested in enhancing your natural beauty, please contact our cosmetic surgeon in Manhattan today at 212-308-1566 to schedule your initial consultation. Manhattan Surgical Care provides experienced cosmetic surgery and skin care to clients in Manhattan, NYC and throughout New York.