Are Cosmetic Surgeons the Same As Plastic Surgeons

Although many people use the terms “cosmetic surgeon” and “plastic surgeon” interchangeably, a cosmetic surgeon is not necessarily the same as a plastic surgeon. If you are considering plastic surgery, it is crucial to know the difference between the two terms. That way, you have all the information needed to evaluate a surgeon’s qualifications properly before making the decision to pursue plastic surgery treatment with him (or her). Here, New York City plastic surgeon Dr. Joshua Greenwald explains the difference between a plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon.

The Difference Between a Plastic Surgeon and Cosmetic Surgeon

The main difference between board-certified plastic surgeons and other surgeons who may refer to themselves as “cosmetic surgeons” is that the former are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), and the latter are not. Only board-certified plastic surgeons have met the rigorous criteria for surgical training and patient care as outlined by the ABPS.

Some crafty medical professionals refer to themselves as cosmetic surgeons even though they have not completed the rigorous surgical training required to become a board-certified plastic surgeon. For example, some dermatologists and ophthalmologists provide cosmetic surgery procedures and call themselves cosmetic surgeons. However, if a so-called cosmetic surgeon has not received certification by the ABPS, that person may not necessarily have undergone the specialized plastic surgery training required to perform plastic surgery procedures.

That’s a scary thought! So, make sure you evaluate a surgeon’s training and accreditation before undergoing facial rejuvenation, body contouring or breast augmentation plastic surgery with that individual.

What Makes a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Qualified?

You can trust that a board-certified plastic surgeon has met or exceeded the strenuous criteria established by the ABPS. For instance, board-certified plastic surgeons must complete a minimum of five years of surgical training, including at least two years of plastic surgery training; they must operate exclusively in accredited facilities; and they must adhere to a strict ethical code.

To learn more about the differences between plastic and cosmetic surgeons, or to schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Greenwald, please contact his practice by calling (212) 518-1642.