Medical Turf Wars: Cosmetic or Plastic Surgery

Cosmetic vs Plastic Surgery

We discussed in a previous post the difference between cosmetic vs plastic surgery.  This issue is heating up with a recent article from the International Business Times and the subsequent response from the President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Dr. Scot B. Glasberg.

The article in the IBT was highly favorable of the Cosmetic Surgeons while taking a few stabs at the Plastic Surgeons.  Dr. Glasberg’s response addressed this bias in what should have been an article with an unbiased perspective.  The result is that many Plastic Surgeons, Cosmetic Surgeons, and other physicians without certifications in either discipline becoming agitated over the delineation being put forth by the Plastic Surgery side of the house.

Here are the basic points of contention:

  • Plastic Surgeons that are board certified go through rigorous education, mentorship, observations and testing before they earn their Board Certification.
  • Cosmetic Surgeons do not go through as extensive of an education as their certifications is more certified on specific plastic surgery procedures.  They do not receive the same in depth instruction and experience in, for example, soft tissue repair as Plastic Surgeons do.
  • Plastic Surgeons view the Cosmetic Surgeon certifications as “the student creating the test”, meaning they aren’t a part of the major board certifications that every other surgical specialization is and can, therefore, determine the requirements for certification with practically no oversight.
  • There is another group that the Plastic Surgeons as well as the Cosmetic Surgeons do not agree should be performing any procedures and this is the group of other miscelleneous surgeons that have gone through manufacturer training for Liposuction and can now provide liposuction to their patients without have any other education or experience in actually performing plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery procedures. These cases are few however, but they do exist.

So if you’re considering a Mommy Makeover, Tummy Tuck, Rhinoplasty or Breast Augmentation, this is a critical discussion to be aware of and to stay tuned to.

We are conducting a survey and have reached out to hundreds of surgeons throughout the United States to get their take on this and asking them to provide their thoughts on what the consumer…the prospective patient…should be looking for to ensure they get the absolute best care.

Obviously, any kind of surgical procedure is not the place to consider cutting costs so it makes sense for the general public to know and understand the differences on all sides of this issue so they can make a well informed decision.

We’d love to hear from either Plastic Surgeons, Cosmetic Surgeons or Surgeons who fall somewhere else in the overall scheme…we’d like to hear from people are involved, have a stake and can provide thought leadership on this subject so we do our part to spread that knowledge.  If you have thoughts to share, please let us know via the form below, and we thank you in advance for your information.