Beauty, Style: What Is the Difference Between Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery?

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At some point the possibility of either plastic or cosmetic surgery may be on the agenda and understanding the difference between the two is key as they both involve procedures performed on the body to improve appearance.

  In medical terms, there are several differences, and you should be aware of what these are if you are thinking of undergoing a procedure. Here are the main differences between the two.


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The Reason for Surgery

Plastic surgery is performed to repair skin damage that may have been caused by an accident or disease. This is necessary surgery and often has physical benefits as well as aesthetic and emotional benefits.

Cosmetic surgery is performed on someone who wants to improve the aesthetics of their appearance. Perhaps there is a part of their body that they have always been unhappy with and they wish to change this. This surgery does not have physical benefits, but it does have aesthetic and emotional ones.


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The Patient

The patient may have different reasons for needing surgery. For example, a breast cancer survivor who has had to have a mastectomy may decide to have plastic surgery to reconstruct her breasts following the surgery - this is called reconstruction surgery.

A woman who believes that her breasts are too small, and that this reduces her confidence, could have surgery to increase the size of her breasts. This would be cosmetic surgery and it is called breast augmentation.


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Timing

If a patient needs plastic surgery, it can often be performed at the time of the initial treatment, but it can be quite common for a patient to have further operations over time to improve the area.

Cosmetic surgery is not essential. Therefore, a patient can decide for themselves when the time is right to undergo surgery. As cosmetic surgery can be expensive, this usually involves the patient having to get their finances in order to pay for it first.

The Doctor

A plastic surgeon needs to be well qualified in Australia. Following their initial medical degree, a student will undertake training with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Training usually involves a further two years of general surgery followed by another four years of specialised training in plastic surgery. They need to pass a final exam to qualify, and then semi-supervised training is undertaken for a year or two before they can practise on their own.

A plastic surgeon can also carry out cosmetic surgery. Research plastic surgery in Perth before having surgery performed in South Western Australia. If you’re looking for plastic surgery Perth based, Peter Randle comes highly recommended. He is a surgeon with many years of experience and a fantastic reputation in the area.


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Any doctor can call themselves a cosmetic surgeon following the completion of their General Medical Degree. They do not need to have any further training or specialist qualifications and any doctor can perform cosmetic surgery procedures. The onus is on the patient to make sure that the doctor is qualified and has a good reputation as a surgeon before going under the knife. Carry out your research carefully before you choose a surgeon.

Now that you know the main differences between plastic and cosmetic surgery, it should make it clearer what each one is for.

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