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Suite 200 Knoxville, TN 37919
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Aesthetic Surgery v.s. Plastic Surgery

Aesthetic and plastic surgery are terms often used interchangeably. It’s important to know the difference between the two, so you know where to find the most skilled surgeon in the procedure you’re planning to have.


What is Aesthetic Surgery?
Also known as cosmetic surgery, aesthetic surgery is what many people think about when they hear the term plastic surgery. This field of medicine encompasses all procedures that are done to enhance or improve one’s aesthetic appeal, symmetry and proportion. This includes procedures such as breast augmentation, tummy tuck, liposuction, facelift, rhinoplasty and eyelid lift, just to name a few.


How about plastic surgery?
Plastic surgery is a broad field of medicine that encompasses both aesthetic and reconstructive procedures.

Reconstructive surgery focuses on procedures that aim to repair or reconstruct defects caused by congenital deformities, burns, tumor removals, trauma, and other reasons. Trained plastic surgeons can also perform complex hand surgery, peripheral nerve surgery, craniofacial surgery and microsurgery.


Plastic vs Cosmetic Surgeon
Plastic and cosmetic surgeons have two different education requirements, training tracks, and certification bodies.

A board-certified plastic surgeon has to:

  • Complete 4 years of medical school
  • Complete 5 to 10 years of surgical residency, training in both general and plastic surgery (including cosmetic surgery procedures)
  • Pass the certification exam from the American Board of Plastic Surgery

On the other hand, a board-certified cosmetic surgeon has to:

  • Complete 4 years of medical school
  • Complete 4 to 6 years of medical or surgical residency, training in any of these specialties: general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat), plastic surgery, dermatology, or ophthalmology
  • Pass the certification exam from the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery

Whether it’s reconstructive or a cosmetic procedure, Dr. David Lo of Premier Surgical Plastic Surgery in Knoxville can help.