While many individuals use the terms interchangeably, there is actually a difference between cosmetic vs plastic surgery. One is done for reasons that are solely about appearance. These may include facelifts, liposuction, rhinoplasty, and breast augmentation, among many others. Because they're done cosmetically for appearance, insurance will not pay for them. Healthcare policies typically cover issues that have to do with health. The operations that are performed for health may include a cleft palette, a club foot, or rebuilding a breast after a mastectomy. There are also procedures that are done for both attractiveness and physical health reasons.
Procedures Done for Appearances
The most common procedures performed cosmetically to improve patients' appearance address faces, breasts, and bodies. Certain facial features may be out of harmony with the rest of the face. Some examples are rhinoplasty also known as a nose job, an eyelid lift also known as a blepharoplasty, and chin implants that are performed to give patients a more pronounced silhouette. Breasts may be perceived as too flat or too saggy and can be corrected by procedures called mastopexy and augmentation. Bodies may have flaws that need various nips, tucks, or to have fat suctioned away. Tummy tucks also known as abdominoplasty, circumferential body lifts, and liposuctions are all made to enhance patients' appearance.
Operations Done for Health
If a baby was born with a congenital defect that affected his or her wellbeing, an operation could be performed to correct the flaw. One example is a child born with a cleft palette; this defect could have impacted the baby's ability to eat and speak correctly. Because these issues are detrimental to the child's health, the operations would be covered by insurance. If a person were born with webbed fingers, separating them would be for health and function, as well.
Surgical Steps that Impact Both
Some surgeries are done to improve both health and appearance. For example, an eyelid lift can enhance a patient's peripheral vision and still improve appearance as well. A rhinoplasty can make a nose look more attractive but also alleviate a deviated septum. In these cases, it's not a manner of cosmetic vs plastic surgery, as it encompasses both.
Many patients are confused by the classifications of various operations. They may wonder what cosmetic vs plastic surgery procedures are and whether their healthcare policies will cover them. A rule of thumb to remember is that one category is performed strictly for appearance while the other addresses physical wellbeing. Some procedures encompass both areas. If in doubt, it's wise to discuss the issues with both the prospective surgeon and the insurance company.