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While many people use the phrases “plastic surgery” and “cosmetic surgery” interchangeably, they are not really the same thing. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery defines them as two closely related disciplines with different purposes. A plastic surgeon operates to restore normal function and appearance to a patient. They may treat people with birth defects or who have suffered burns or other injuries. A cosmetic surgeon, by contrast, works to improve a patient’s appearance.
There is admittedly some overlap between the two fields. A rhinoplasty or nose job, for example, can be reconstructive or cosmetic. A reconstructive rhinoplasty would be done to repair a broken nose, while a cosmetic rhinoplasty would be done to change the size of the nose and make it more proportionate to the rest of the face.
What does a cosmetic surgeon do?
A cosmetic surgeon performs a variety of surgical procedures intended to improve the patient’s appearance. They typically work on all parts of the body. Examples of procedures performed by cosmetic surgeons include the following:
• Breast surgery
• Fat transfers
• Implant surgery
They can perform non-surgical procedures like Botox or dermal filler injections and chemical peels. A cosmetic surgeon will work on both male and female patients.
What is liposuction?
Liposuction, also known as liposculpture, is a surgical procedure done to remove excess fat from a specific area. Since the surgeon can remove only a small amount of fat, it is not a weight loss treatment. In fact, liposuction works best on people who are near their ideal weight but can’t get rid of fat deposits on their arms or stomach.
The patient will be put under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make a few small incisions around the targeted area. They will then insert a hollow tube called a cannula into an incision and suction out the fat.
Liposuction can be done almost anywhere on the body. It can be done either on its own or as part of another procedure like an abdominoplasty.
What is otoplasty?
Otoplasty is plastic surgery of the ears. Like rhinoplasty, it can be reconstructive or cosmetic. A cosmetic surgeon might perform otoplasty to correct a birth defect or injury or to make the ears more proportionate with the patient’s face.
Ear pinning is a common example of otoplasty, and it is a procedure done to make protruding ears lie closer to the head. Adult patients will be given a local anesthetic, while children will be put under general anesthesia. The surgeon will then make an incision at the back of the ear to expose the cartilage. They will remove some cartilage and reshape the rest so the ear will lie flat.
What are chemical peels?
Chemical peels are non-surgical treatments used to treat various skin imperfections on the face. It works by exfoliating the top layers of the skin and removing the associated blemishes. The cosmetic surgeon will apply a chemical mixture to the patient’s face and let it sit for a time. Then they will wash it off.
Contact us to learn more about cosmetic surgery or to schedule an appointment.