Many people think of cosmetic procedures like face lifts and tummy tucks when they think of plastic surgery. But plastic surgery goes well beyond cosmetic procedures. Plastic surgery procedures can include procedures such as, repair of birth defects such as a cleft lip, repairing damage done by burns, and repairing effects of injuries or illnesses that result in disfigurement.
In the U.S., plastic surgery specialization involves four years of training beyond medical school. Plastic surgeons sometimes do not get the respect that other medical specialties (like heart surgeons) have, but that is because many people don?t realize that plastic surgeons are involved in much more than making people look younger or prettier. They are also involved in repairing disfigurement from accidents or illnesses. In fact, some plastic surgeons don?t get into cosmetic procedures much, if at all.
Plastic surgeons sometimes do specialize in cosmetic procedures, and sometimes they specialize even more, perhaps concentrating on facial surgery or breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Board certified plastic surgeons with experience in cosmetic surgery are usually good choices for patients looking to have cosmetic procedures, particularly the more major types like face lifts and tummy tucks.
When it comes to minimally invasive cosmetic techniques like Botox and soft tissue fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm, any licensed physician can set up shop providing these procedures. It?s a very lucrative business: quick, fairly expensive, and insurance companies aren?t involved. However, getting these procedures done by someone other than a plastic cosmetic surgeon or a dermatologist can be risky.
Plastic surgery is definitely a lucrative career, particularly in times like these where cosmetic procedures are so common. But it is also much more than that. When a burn patient has successful skin grafts, or when a mastectomy patient has reconstructive surgery that allows her to get back to her normal activities, there is usually a very skilled plastic surgeon to thank for it.