Plastic Surgery Vs. Cosmetic Surgery

Plastic surgery is the over-arching term for both reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery. The physician does specialty training in plastic surgery to qualify him or her to do either of those types of surgery. Typically, the surgeon will focus on one or the other. So if you need reconstructive work done on your hands, for instance, after a burn injury, you would go to a plastic surgeon. But if you want to enlarge your breasts so as to have a better-proportioned body shape, you would see a cosmetic surgeon.

Cosmetic surgery is growing fast in popularity and in response, cosmetic surgeons have been expanding their array of offerings. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) assembles statistics each year, categorized in many ways. In 2006, the top five cosmetic procedures were, in this order:
· Breast Augmentation – 329,000
· Nose Reshaping (Rhinoplasty) – 307,000
· Liposuction –303,000
· Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty) – 233,000
· Tummy Tucks (Abdominoplasty) – 233,000

Those numbers have been rounded off. They include both men and women and are surgeries, as opposed to “non-invasive” procedures.

The ASPS gives the top five minimally-invasive procedures for 2006 as:
· Botox Injections (for smoothing forehead wrinkles) – 4.1 million
· Chemical Peels (for rejuvenating facial skin) – 1.1 million
· Laser Hair Removal – 887,000
· Microdermabrasion (for rejuvenating facial skin) – 817,000
· Hyaluronic Acid Injections (for plumping up facial skin) – 778,000

Clearly, a desire for a more youthful shape and younger-looking skin are widespread. As the Baby Boomers continue to age, we can probably expect cosmetic surgery to expand even more in popularity. The Liposuction procedure encompasses reshaping of many body areas, as it can be done on the abdomen, thighs, hips, buttocks, upper arms, chin and perhaps every other area, depending on the individual case.

There are many more rejuvenating procedures offered by cosmetic surgeons, other than these top five listed above. You can have your ears reshaped, chin and cheekbones enlarged, lips plumped up, neck and face lifted, breasts reduced or lifted, and many more.

The best way to start sorting through what is available is to look at some cosmetic surgeon websites. When you feel ready, you can email one of them to arrange for what is usually a free initial consultation. Cosmetic surgeons are very interested in patient education, so you will be able to have your questions clearly answered, and will meet the staff and be given a tour of the facilities. Cosmetic surgery facilities tend to be extremely relaxing and pleasant, and the staff will be focused on providing for your comfort.