Cosmetic Surgery and Plastic Surgery are often confused with one another and used interchangeably. While there might be some interlap between the two procedures, some functional differences distinguish them. The terms are often confused with each other leading to a lack of clarity about the scope of each field. To get clear of this confusion, let’s get into the details about them and understand them better.
What is Plastic Surgery?
Plastic Surgery is derived from the Greek word ‘Plastikos’ which means ‘to mould’. This discipline deals with the process of restoring or altering body parts to their original condition. Plastic Surgery involves two major subfields- reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery. Body reconstruction after the removal of a tumor from the head, neck, or stomach is one of the most common treatments in this procedure. This has both cosmetic as well as functional applications hence the confusion between the two procedures.
Burn victims, cancer patients, and road accident victims are some of the other common groups which choose reconstructive plastic surgery. These cases often undergo procedures such as reattaching fingers or toes, skin grafting, and bone reconstruction among others.
What is Cosmetic Surgery?
This can be termed a subsect of plastic surgery and exclusively deals with altering body parts for aesthetic and functional reasons. The main goal of cosmetic surgery is to enhance appearance and achieve symmetry. Unlike plastic surgery which has to be performed for medical reasons, cosmetic surgery is not mandatory. Most cosmetic surgery procedures are voluntarily opted by patients who want to enhance or alter their looks as per their desires.
Breast enhancement, Rhinoplasty (Nose Surgery), Chin or cheek enhancement, botox, and tummy tuck are some of the common cosmetic surgery procedures. Many plastic surgeons also perform cosmetic surgeries due to the close applications of the two fields.
Who Should Not Get Plastic Surgery
While Cosmetic Surgery is an optional procedure, Plastic Surgery is a medical necessity in many cases. Despite plastic surgery’s vast applications in healthcare, some sections of patients must not undergo these procedures. Patients recovering from heart attack and blood clotting disorders must strictly avoid plastic surgeries as severe complications might rise later on.
In addition to this cancer patients whose cancer might metastasize should also keep away from plastic procedures. People who are more than 30% above the required body fat levels should also avoid getting liposuction. Also, patients with HIV or certain blood infections should also keep away from these procedures.
Post Surgery Precautions
Like any other major medical procedure, several post-treatment precautions are needed in the case of plastic procedures as well. Some of these are:
- Be on a liquid diet for some days. In some specific procedures, you might be required to be on liquids for longer
- Take large amounts of protein to foster the healing process
- Completely avoid smoking and alcohol consumption
- Avoid heavy physical activities.
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