Do Plastic Surgeons Have Cosmetic Training?

When choosing your practitioner from among the many cosmetic and plastic surgeons in Tampa, it is critical to look for a doctor with advanced cosmetic training. Many patients assume that plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons are the same thing. In reality, each type of doctor has a different focus, and it’s a good idea to know the difference.


What’s the Difference?

Plastic surgery is actually the branch of medicine that focuses on reconstruction for medical, rather than cosmetic, reasons. For example, plastic surgeons may be trained to repair cleft palates, treat severe burns, and correct other physical dysfunctions.


Cosmetic surgeons, on the other hand, may be trained in specific techniques to improve aesthetic outcomes and help patients look better. Some doctors may call themselves cosmetic surgeons but really do not have any advanced training in the field. That’s why it’s important to review the training and experience of any cosmetic surgeon you are considering.


For instance, I completed an elective year of specialized training with the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, which is an additional year-long fellowship focused entirely of cosmetic surgery of the face and body. This is post-doctoral training in cosmetic procedures that even many plastic surgeons have not completed.


Choosing a Practitioner

The bottom line is that before deciding whether a plastic or cosmetic surgeon is right for you, the first place to start is by looking at credentials. Has your chosen surgeon completed any specialized training with a dedicated cosmetic surgery organization? Have they received any awards or been granted any fellowships within the field of cosmetic surgery? Looking at a surgeon’s post-doctoral training and experience will help you assess the surgeon’s abilities.
In the end, the skill level of your surgeon will be the single most important determining factor for the outcome of your surgery, so take the time to find the right fit for your goals.