What is the difference between Plastic surgery and Aesthetic surgery?
Some mistakenly use the terms plastic surgery and aesthetic surgery interchangeably. They do not mean the same thing; they are not synonymous. Plastic surgery describes any surgery, on any part of the body that changes form and/or function. The root word, plas, from Greek, means “to form or shape.” Plastic surgery is a two-component specialty: reconstructive surgery and aesthetic surgery.
Reconstructive surgery seeks to restore appearance and function to a pre-injury or pre-tumor state. Here are some of the more common reconstructive procedures: skin grafting for burns, covering bed sores with natural tissue, correcting congenital deformities, management of burns, repairing injuries, limb transplantation, tumor removal and tissue reconstruction. Reconstructive plastic surgery has been performed for hundreds of years; some rudimentary repair procedures were done thousands of years ago during the time of Hippocrates (460-370 BC).
Aesthetic surgery is a much more limited category of plastic surgery. Aesthetic procedures aim to surpass nature by improving our natural appearance or by reversing the signs of aging. Facelifting, breast augmentation, wrinkle removal, and nasal aesthetic surgery are among the procedures performed daily that either make us look better and/or younger.
The first documented cosmetic surgical procedures upon the face, for example, were performed late in the nineteenth century. But most of the long strides in Aesthetic surgery have occurred only in the last 40 years. Now you understand that all aesthetic surgery is plastic surgery, but not all plastic surgery is aesthetic.