Plastic Surgeon vs. Cosmetic Surgeon
If you’re not sure about the difference between a cosmetic surgeon and a plastic surgeon, you’re not alone. Lots of people use the terms interchangeably, meaning they’ve become pretty much synonymous with each other. And that’s definitely not a good thing.
As you’ll see, there is one critical difference between a cosmetic surgeon and a plastic surgeon – one that could have a huge impact on your next surgical procedure.
What’s the Difference?
The main difference between a plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon is that a plastic surgeon has earned a special license to be called that. However, a “cosmetic surgeon” is a medical practitioner who has decided to dabble in “cosmetic surgery” without getting that same license. Meaning, that a local board-certified family medicine doctor can decide that he/she wants to start performing liposuction and call themselves a “cosmetic surgeon.” They will still be “board-certified” but they are certified in something completely different than plastic surgery. All board-certified plastic surgeons are certified through the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS).
While both are medical professionals, only a plastic surgeon has specifically gone to school for plastic surgery and has been licensed by a national board. All this rigorous schooling and testing can be applied to your procedure, making it more likely to get the results you want.
While many people have good experiences with cosmetic surgeons, the truth is that they don’t have the same level of expertise and practice as plastic surgeons. You could be getting a general practitioner or a dentist or anyone else with a medical license who has decided to create a lucrative side business in cosmetic surgery.
So when you’re researching who you want to perform your plastic surgery procedures, it’s a good idea to actually go with a plastic surgeon. Ask to see board certifications, portfolios, and any other information that demonstrates the professional is a licensed and board-certified plastic surgeon.
Dr. Ed Pittman is a Board-Certified Plastic surgeon.
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