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The Difference Between Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery

Too often plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery are misinterpreted.  Though the difference between the two can be easily confused, it’s important to understand what makes plastic surgery plastic, and what makes cosmetic surgery cosmetic. Dr. Taban, board certified oculoplastic surgeon in Beverly Hills and Santa Barbara, sheds light on the common misconceptions relating to the two.

What’s The Difference?

Plastic surgery is a surgical specialty dealing with reconstruction of body and facial problems or defects due to a variety of causes, including: trauma, disease, birth defects, and aging.  It is inherently reconstructive in nature, aiming to reconstruct dysfunctional areas of the body.  Cosmetic surgery is much more specific and focused than plastic surgery as it aims to enhance the appearance of the body and face through surgical and/or nonsurgical techniques, making it inherently aesthetic in nature.

Plastic Surgery Vs. Cosmetic Surgery

Plastic surgeons complete residency in plastic surgery and then they can elect to complete additional fellowship training in cosmetic surgery.  However, they are not alone as there are other fields of medicine that can lead to fellowship training in cosmetic surgery, with more focused expertise.  For instance, ENT specialists can get additional fellowship training in aesthetic facial surgery and ophthalmologists can get additional fellowship training in oculoplastic surgery. The latter deals with reconstructive and aesthetic eyelid and facial surgeries.

The distinction between these two fields of medicine is important.  Board certification in plastic surgery (American Board of Plastic Surgery) is not the same as board certification in cosmetic surgery (American Board of Cosmetic Surgery).

Many board certified plastic surgeons do receive additional cosmetic surgery training and are experienced in cosmetic surgery. The same holds true for those in other medical fields who complete additional cosmetic surgery training.

It is important that the public as well as healthcare professionals understand these differences so patients can make informed decisions when choosing a surgeon for a specific procedure, whether it is a cosmetic or plastic surgeon.

Who Should Perform My Surgery?

Depending on which type of surgery you’re undergoing, it’s always best to make sure that you’re surgeon is a board certified plastic surgeon with extensive knowledge and additional training in your surgery. Dr. Mehryar (Ray) Taban is an oculoplastic surgeon in Beverly Hills and Santa Barbara who is able to assist patients with cosmetic and reconstructive procedures including blepharoplasty, brow lifts, eyelid tumors, orbital trauma, fat transfer, facial paralysis, and several other treatments. To speak with Dr. Taban today about which procedure will benefit you most, contact him to schedule an initial appointment.

Contact Dr. Taban

Dr. Taban is a board certified oculoplastic surgeon with offices in Beverly Hills and Santa Barbara who focuses solely on assisting patients with reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery procedures of the eyes and orbit. If you’d like to speak with Dr. Taban today about the various surgical procedures offered at Taban MD Oculoplastic Surgery, contact him today to schedule your initial consultation by calling 310-278-1836. Dr. Taban always makes sure that his patients receive the expert care that they deserve no matter what type of surgery they’re undergoing. To learn more about the different cosmetic and reconstructive surgical procedures that Dr. Taban can perform for you, visit our procedures page.