Cosmetic surgeons and plastic surgeons: What’s the difference?

Posted on December 17, 2013 by

If you’ve been looking for a surgeon to perform a facelift or breast augmentation in Miami, you may have noticed that some doctors refer to themselves as plastic surgeons, while other say they are cosmetic surgeons. Is there a difference between the two?

In order for a physician to become a plastic surgeon, they must complete an approved residency program in plastic surgery. This education involves training not only in cosmetic procedures, but also those relating to burns, trauma and reconstruction. Only after this work can a doctor be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) and become a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). 

As there is no board certification for “cosmetic surgery” as deemed by the American Board of Medical Specialties, any licensed physician can give themselves that title. There are training programs for plastic surgery that usually last for six months to a year, but they are not as rigorous as what is required by the ABPS. 

Does it matter if someone other than a plastic surgeon performs your procedure? While it’s possible that everything will go fine, there is no need to take such a risk. In addition, if there is a complication, you will want someone with extensive training in reconstruction and trauma to be able to provide adequate treatment. 

Before you make the final decision to have plastic surgery, make sure you know your doctor’s credentials. They should be certified by the ABPS and preferably also a member of the ASPS. 

Women and men in Miami who are interested in meeting with a board-certified plastic surgeon should look no further than Dr. Christopher Craft. 

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