Plastic surgery has been a catch all term for many years, but there is a difference between plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery.

Both plastic and cosmetic surgery have seen an increase in demand in recent years, and there are many clinics across the country offering procedures, such as the Masri Clinic.

If you are considering surgery, you need to know exactly what it is you want, and therefore who to choose to perform that surgery.

So, let’s have a look at the difference between the types of surgeries.

Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is a discipline that is dedicated to reconstructing or repairing defects on the body of the face.

These defects can be something a person was born with – known as a congenital defect – such as a cleft lip, or something that has happened due to some kind of trauma, whether that is medical – like cancer – or something like burns.

Plastic surgery is normally a necessary procedure to improve the individual’s quality of life, or regain function to an area of the body.

Examples Of Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is generally, but not always, a surgical, invasive procedure. Meaning that anaesthesia or sedation is often required, and there will be some surgical cuts made to the body.

Plastic surgery can include such procedures as burn repair surgery, reconstructing breasts after a mastectomy and cleft palate / cleft lip repair.

Plastic surgery is normally covered by insurance, as it is necessary to the patient’s life.


Both plastic and cosmetic surgery have seen an increase in demand in recent years, and there are many clinics across the country offering procedures, such as the Masri Clinic.

Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery has often been called plastic surgery, but the terms are not interchangeable.

The main difference is that cosmetic surgery is an elective procedure. This means that having the surgery is not essential to the patients quality of life. These procedures are to change a person’s appearance, to enhance what they already have.

Cosmetic surgery can be invasive or not, and doesn’t always need anaesthesia to carry out.

Examples of Cosmetic Surgery

Common cosmetic surgery procedures range from dermal fillers to breast augmentation, from liposuction to botox.

Cosmetic surgery is generally not covered by insurance, as it is a non essential procedure, and is purely done for cosmetic reasons.

The Surgeons

Plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons will often have very different training.

Plastic surgeons may not be able to carry our cosmetic procedures, in the same way that cosmetic surgeons wouldn’t be able to carry out plastic surgery.

It is important to make this differentiation when looking for the surgeon that you want to do your surgery.

Just because someone you know had great breast reconstruction surgery post mastectomy, it doesn’t mean that the same surgeon would be able to do the breast augmentation that you want. They are very different surgeries requiring a different set of skills.

Who Do You Choose?

Once you know what type of procedure you want, research your doctor.

Research them in depth, and look at their previous work. It’s a good idea to have at least one, if not more, consultations with them so you can both decide on a plan.

A good doctor will be honest with you about what they can achieve, and if they think something is unrealistic or is out of their range of skill, they will tell you this and possibly refer you to someone who can.

Be wary of people who offer services beyond their skill set. For example, if your dentist starts offering lip fillers, just be wary of that. A dentist may be very good at dentistry, but will probably only have been trained in one of two ways to do lip fillers, and may not be able to achieve the results you want.

Board Certified

A board certified plastic surgeon has been certified by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The ACGME regulates all it’s surgeons, who will have had at least six years of training post graduation in a specific plastic surgery certificate.

Only a plastic surgeon who is certified can call themselves a plastic surgeon, however anyone can call themselves a cosmetic surgeon.

Do Your Research

We have already discussed this briefly, but it really must be stressed that if you are wanting either plastic or cosmetic surgery, then look carefully at who you are going to allow to perform surgery on your body.

Make sure you trust them and feel comfortable with them, and that they can deliver the results you are after.

Ensure they are licensed and regulated by the appropriate authorities where you live.

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