Plastic Surgery vs. Cosmetic Surgery
The answer is yes, the difference is between Cosmetic/Plastic AND Reconstructive Surgery. A REAL Plastic Surgeon is trained in both: Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. Reconstructive Plastic Surgery is the foundation for Cosmetic Surgery. A Plastic Surgeon cannot truly master Cosmetic Surgery without first understanding and learning Reconstructive Plastic Surgery.
A Real Plastic Surgeon, one who is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, has extensive General Surgery Training prior to entering a formal Plastic Surgery Residency training program. This is critical for them to learn Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgery of the face and body. A Plastic Surgeon’s foundation of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery is key for Cosmetic Surgery to reconstruct the signs of aging. It is this intense training background that makes their board Certification the crème-de-la-crème and the only one recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
When considering Cosmetic or Reconstructive Surgery, one can usually parse out the real Plastic Surgeons from the phony ones by how they title themselves. If they title themselves as “cosmetic surgeons,” this is usually a red flag and indicator they do not have the proper credentials for this specialty. This group of rogue plastic surgeons attempts to deceive the cosmetic consumer with word-play. They even go as far as to claim “plastic surgeons are not trained in cosmetic surgery” (insert laugh here!). When in fact, they are exposing themselves as not legitimate for they do not have formal plastic surgery training at all. This group of rogue plastic surgeons are physicians of other medical backgrounds such as OBG-YN, Family Practice, ENT, Urology, Dermatology, and General Surgery. They usually claim to be “board certified,” but hardly ever state the name of their board certification for obvious reasons: deception. If they claim to be “board certified” in an area of plastic or cosmetic surgery, it is because they have obtained an un-recognized board certification such as the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, which obviously does not require formal plastic surgery training as a qualification, or even require the physician have a surgical background at all. This group of rogue plastic/cosmetic surgeons treats Plastic Surgery with an “anyone can do it” mentality. This is why there are so many “plastic surgery gone wrong” stories plastered in our media. Almost all of them are due to the physician not being board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (such as Donda West’s fatal experience in Hollywood and the tragic outcome of Dr. Rey’s brother, performed by Dr. Rey).