What is the difference between a cosmetic surgeon and a plastic surgeon?

When it comes to choosing a surgeon for any aesthetic procedure it is crucial to understand the difference between a cosmetic surgeon and plastic surgeon.

A cosmetic surgeon is typically a medical provider who initially trained and specialized in something other than plastic surgery and at some point, decided to add cosmetic procedures to their list of services.

The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery is the official organization that certifies these surgeons as “cosmetic surgeons” and requires less training than what is required to become a plastic surgeon. This organization is not recognized by the leading medical organization, the American Board of Medical Specialties. The American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery are the ONLY boards recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties for aesthetic plastic surgeons.

When it comes to your face, trust a facial plastic surgeon. A facial plastic surgeon obtains their board certification by completing a one year residency in general surgery and an additional four year residency in otolaryngology (head and neck surgery) after medical school. During this four year residency, a facial plastic surgeon spends their entire focus on the face, head and neck. After four years, they usually go on to complete a one year fellowship, as both UFP surgeons have done. Dr. Thompson completed a prestigious fellowship with world-renowned facial plastic surgeon and past president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Vito Quatela. Dr. Henstrom was selected for a highly competitive two-year fellowship in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgery at Harvard where he refined the necessary skills to become a leader in his field.

If you are looking for a surgeon who focuses on body procedures, choose a plastic surgeon. After medical school, general plastic surgeons complete about 3 years in a general residency with a two year residency in plastic surgery.

Plastic surgery and other aesthetic treatments are in full demand with no signs of slowing down. Safety should be everyone’s number one priority, especially when considering an elective procedure. If you are interested in plastic surgery, do your research and be sure to ask your surgeon many questions regarding their training and experience. It’s best to select a board-certified plastic surgeon you are comfortable with who specializes in your procedure of interest.

To learn more about our board-certified facial plastic surgeons in Utah, please call (801) 776-2220 or contact us HERE.


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Posted in: facial plastic surgeon, plastic surgeon, plastic surgery

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