Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Differences

More and more men and women worldwide are committing to surgery to enhance their looks, whether it is to hold back the signs of aging or to correct a facial or body feature that they believe could be made more attractive. Knowing what to look for in a cosmetic surgeon will be the first and most important step that should be taken by anybody considering committing themselves to enhancement surgery.

It should be understood that plastic surgery, which includes the practise of cosmetic surgery, is so called from the Greek plastikos to shape or mould, and does not have any association with the use of plastic material. Plastic surgery is said to date back 4000 years when records show reconstructive surgery was carried out in India. The Romans and later the Arabs also practised simple surgical techniques and by the 15th century the skills began to develop in Europe.

Although the techniques and surgical skills began developing beyond recognition in the twentieth century with the mainly facial reconstruction of badly wounded or burned servicemen and civilians resulting from the two world wars, the basis of plastic surgery has not significantly changed. Either by grafting skin or other tissue such as fat or muscle from either another part of the patient’s body or from a donor or by removing surplus fat, bone, skin etc. remain the principal basic techniques.

Probably the two most important benefits to plastic surgery has been the development of sterile procedures and anaesthetics, thus dramatically reducing the occurrence of infection and enabling control of post operative pain. The worldwide boom in cosmetic surgery shows no sign of slowing down despite the recession. Because of the big bucks that can be made the temptation to cash in by ill trained and under qualified fringe medical practitioners has never been greater.

Some countries have strict controls, the UK for example will only allow members of The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons who are on the specialist register of the General Medical Council to hang out their shingle advertising that they have qualified and are approved to practise cosmetic surgery.

In the United States any licensed Medical Practitioner can call him or herself a cosmetic surgeon without any training or practical experience. Checking out the credentials of the surgeon and satisfying yourself that he or she is up to the job is an absolute must. Even the most highly qualified, experienced and expensive cosmetic surgeons can make mistakes.

Just think of some of the celebrities that have gone through the procedure and have ended up caricatures of their former selves with disfigurements that can sometimes never be corrected.

 

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