Many people assume the two terms mean the same thing, but there are actually some differences between cosmetic surgeons vs plastic surgeons. It is important to know what they are if you plan to choose a doctor to make the changes to your appearance that you have in mind. Get to know what each type of practitioner does.

A cosmetic surgeon focuses on improving the physical appearance of patients. Therefore, the surgeries they preside over are solely electric. Common examples include a nose job, breast augmentation, and liposuction. Even dermatologists and maxillofacial surgeons could have considered to fit in this category when they perform treatments that help patients feel more confident about their looks. If there is technically nothing wrong with your face or body, but you want surgery to improve how it looks, you will likely head to one of these practitioners. Since the surgery you want is electric, you can not expect health insurance to pay for it, so you will likely need to save up for the treatment you desire.

On the other hand, a plastic surgeon can fix conditions you were born with that affect your appearance, such as congenital abnormalities. For instance, if you were born with only one ear or a malformed ear, you can get this repaired by this type of practitioner. He or she can also fix the damage left behind by a traumatic event or disease. For example, if you were in a car accident that severely injured or scarred your face, you can opt for surgery from this type of doctor. The same goes if you were burned or suffering from cancer that changed your appearance in a negative way. If you are simply trying to look like these issues never affected you, and essentially want to look normal, you should talk to this type of surgeon.

As you learn the differences of cosmetic surgeons vs plastic surgeons, you should take note that the former does not have to go through a specific residency program. Therefore, you may find that some practitioners specializing in cosmetic surgery had residencies in dermatology, oral surgery, and other practices since they could not find such a program for their specific field. Instead, they often learn on the job, so be sure to choose a practitioner with many years of experience.

These are just some of the details to know as you look for a doctor to change your appearance. Take a moment to think about which type of practitioner would be right for your situation. Comparing cosmetic surgeons vs plastic surgeons is a good start to this process.