Aesthetic Surgery Vs. Plastic Surgery

The terms “plastic surgery” and “aesthetic surgery” are often used interchangeably. Technically speaking, though, they aren’t the same thing. We’re here to help clear up these common terms that many people think are one in the same.

The Differences Between Aesthetic Surgery and Plastic Surgery
There are a number of differences between plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery, chief among them are the following.

Different Missions and Different Goals

Both plastic surgery and aesthetic surgery are New Jersey cosmetic services that involve improving a person’s appearance, whether its their face or body. However, aesthetic surgery, also referred to as cosmetic surgery, focuses almost entirely on improving a patient’s appearance in terms of its proportion, symmetry and overall look and appearance.
While cosmetic surgery is commonly done on the face and neck, it can also be performed on the body. Cosmetic surgery is often times performed in conjunction with other south Jersey cosmetic center services, such as Juvederm, Belotero, Radiesse, and BOTOX.
On the other hand, the mission and goals of plastic surgery are to correct defects and reconstruct and repair to achieve normal functioning and appearance. Typically, the defects are due to birth, trauma, injury, disease, or burns.

A person who is having a procedure to straighten their nose (rhinoplasty for example), is said to be having reconstructive plastic surgery. This nose reshaping not only can improve the look and appearance of the patient’s nose, but can also improve the functioning of their breathing. The same goes for a cleft lip.

Training is Different

Training and certification for becoming a board certified cosmetic surgeon is different from the training and certification for a board certified plastic surgeon. While cosmetic surgery is a subsection of plastic surgery training, plastic surgery training is not necessarily a requirement of cosmetic surgery. While a plastic surgeon must complete a residency program, a cosmetic surgeon does not.


Usually cosmetic surgery is elective. The patient opts to have a cosmetic procedure at a south Jersey cosmetic center to improve her appearance or reduce the signs of aging, including smoothing wrinkles and making folds less noticable.

On the other hand, plastic surgery is often necessarily simply to normalize a person’s appearance or restore its functioning. That is, reconstructive plastic surgery, is often medically necessary.

So, in a nutshell, the term plastic surgery can be categorized into two subsections: cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery. A patient who has had rhinoplasty, is essentially accurate in saying that she has had cosmetic surgery or plastic surgery.


Posted in: Aesthetic Procedures

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