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Cosmetic Surgery Vs Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is a broad medical field that involves restoring or reconstructing a patient’s appearance for functional or cosmetic purposes. Cosmetic surgery is a subspecialty of plastic surgery that aims to enhance a patient’s appearance rather than correcting structural or functional problems. Yet often, these two terms are used interchangeably.

What is Cosmetic Surgery?

Cosmetic surgery is the practice of performing surgical operations designed to enhance patients’ physical beauty and, therefore, their confidence. From minimally-invasive procedures like dermal fillers or Botox to major surgery such as a facelift, breast augmentation, or tummy tuck, cosmetic surgery can help you achieve a look that matches your desired self-image. Hence if the goal is to make a person look more attractive, it falls under the umbrella of cosmetic surgery.

Types Of Cosmetic Surgeries

1. Breast Enhancement
  • Breast Augmentation: Adds more volume to the breasts and enhances their shape with breast implants.
  • Breast Lift: Helps rejuvenate sagging skin and provide firmer results by removing excess fat from the area.
  • Breast Reduction: Reduces breasts’ size and minimizes discomfort.
  2. Facial Contouring 3. Facial Rejuvenation
  • Facelift: Helps reduce wrinkles, tighten skin and create a more youthful appearance.
  • Eyelid Surgery: Reduces fat deposits from around the eye area.
  • Neck Lift: Tackles loose and sagging skin around the chin and neck.
  • Brow Lift: Helps reduce drooping and sagging eyelids creating a more lifted, youthful appearance.
4. Body Contouring
  • Tummy Tuck: Removes excess fat and skin from the abdominal area creating a flatter stomach.
  • Liposuction: Targets areas such as back rolls, ‘love handles,’ and double chin for precise sculpting of the patient’s figure.
  • Male Breast Reduction: Reduces abnormally enlarged breasts in males.
5. Skin Rejuvenation
  • Scar Revision: Removes scars from acne or sun damage.
  • Botox: Treats forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet by temporarily reducing muscle movement around these areas.
  • Dermal Fillers: Restores volume in thinner parts of the face, such as the cheeks and lips.

What is Plastic Surgery?

Plastic surgery, while often considered cosmetic enhancement, is much more than that. It is a specialized field of medicine which involves reconstructing and repairing the body after physical trauma, disease, or congenital disabilities to restore optimal functioning and recreate a more natural look. Hence, reconstructive plastic surgery aims to restore form and function, while cosmetic surgery focuses primarily on aesthetic enhancements.

Do Plastic & Cosmetic Surgeons Hold Different Board Certifications?

A board is a professional organization that creates standards, certifications and licensing for different professions. Board certifications are specialty-specific. To earn a certificate, a surgeon must complete over six years of specialized education, pass comprehensive exams and fulfill continuing education requirements.

In Europe, plastic surgeons are certified by the European Board of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (EBOPRAS). In the US, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is the umbrella board that oversees all recognized medical specialties. 

On the other hand, doctors who call themselves “cosmetic surgeons” might not be board-certified plastic surgeons. For example, many dermatologists market themselves as “cosmetic surgeons.”

When considering a plastic or cosmetic procedure, it is important to understand the difference between the two and ensure you are working with a qualified professional with the credentials to back up their expertise. Plastic surgery requires more specialized training, making board certification essential in order to guarantee a successful outcome and reduce potential risks. Read how to become a plastic surgeon.

You may consult Dr. Demetris Stravou for more information if you’re considering plastic surgery. He is a trusted and board-certified plastic surgeon in Cyprus specializing in reconstructive and cosmetic procedures. 

Considering cosmetic surgery abroad? Read why Cyprus is the best option.



Dr Stavrou is a board-certified and highly experienced plastic surgeon in Cyprus, Greece and Malta, with a keen interest in informing patients about the latest updates on reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery.

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