Plastic surgery encompasses both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures.
Cosmetic surgery is performed to reshape certain structures of the face and body to improve the patient’s appearance and self-image. It is elective surgery, is not covered by health insurance, and includes a wide variety of operations. More major procedures are performed in an operating room under anesthesia while many smaller procedures can be done in the office with the patient awake. Patient education is very important in the consideration of any elective cosmetic procedure, including the credentials and experience of the surgeon as well as an understanding of the benefits and risks of the desired procedure(s).
Reconstructive surgery is performed on abnormal structures of the body, caused by congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors or disease. It is generally performed to improve a body function, but may also be done to create a more normal appearance. Reconstructive surgery is generally covered by most health insurance policies, although coverage for specific procedures and levels of coverage may vary greatly.
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