Comparison between Reconstructive Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic Dermatology

Comparison between Reconstructive Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery

Generally speaking, surgery is a process in which the doctor performs several cuts and paste of skin tissues to reduce or completely erase any natural and accidental deformities. It is done using the treatment process called plastic surgery. 

The concept of plastic surgery includes the treatment of body parts which are deformed from the birth or got deformed after some accident. It is done by utilizing different medical procedures such as reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. 

Both the reconstructive and cosmetic surgery may serve a similar purpose, but they are quite different. And this creates confusion between the people in understanding the process. Here is a comparison between the 2 that can help you distingue the 2 procedures. 

A Comparison between the 2 Treatments for Better Understanding 

  • Reconstructive Surgery 

The general objective of reconstructive surgery is to improve the functional capabilities of different body parts that got damaged due to burns, severe injuries, bone fractures, congenital abnormalities, infections, diseases, or tumors. Although these surgeries are used to improve functional capabilities, they can also be used to improve physical appearance as well. 

Some commonly known reconstructive surgical procedures include laceration repair, tumor removal, scar reduction, maxilla facial surgery, and hand surgery. It can also be used treatment of cancer and afterburn treatment. Now a day scientists have also perfected the method of growing artificial body parts like ears, which can also be used for reconstructive surgeries. 

In the process of reconstructive surgery, several microsurgeries are done in which skin tissues are transferred from a healthy body part to cover up the defected skin. In this process, skin tissue, fat, muscles, bone, or a combination is used for the cover-up. After the cover-ups get settle, blood supplies are reconnected, which includes reconnection of arteries and veins. 

  • Cosmetic Surgery 

Cosmetic surgery is quite different from the reconstructive surgery, because these surgeries are performed on a healthy body, and the only aim of the process is to improve physical appearance or to remove any signs of aging. Cosmetic surgery can be understood as the cosmetic dermatology treatment in which different treatments like skin resurfacing, laser treatments, and others are performed. According to a study, it was discovered that approximately 45 percent of the world population undergoes some cosmetic surgery between the age of 25-60.   

Some commonly known cosmetic surgical procedures included Botox treatment, filler treatment, rhinoplasty, liposuction, and facelift. A surgical or minimal invasion treatment can perform these processes. In a minimal invasion treatment, typical surgical is not performed. 

In the process of cosmetic surgery, the skin care specialist performs necessary surgeries to improve the physical appearance of the targeted body part. In Botox treatment, Botulinum toxin is used, which can paralyze muscle and nerve. In cosmetic facial filler treatment, cosmetic fillers are used to cover up the gaps between skin tissues. In rhinoplasty, the structure of the nose is altered according to the like of the person and so on. 

Sub Categories of Surgeries that are Commonly Performed 

  • Aesthetic Surgery 

Aesthetic surgery is a type of plastic surgery that includes surgeries of face and body. These surgeries can be a cosmetic or reconstructive, but the final aim of the process is to improve the overall appearance. 

  • Burn Surgery 

Burn surgery is performed for treatment of burn skin, in this process, the severe burn surgery is done right after the burn. And the reconstructive surgery is done after the wounds get healed. 

  • Hand Surgery 

Hand surgery is performed for treating severe and chronic diseases of the wrist and hand. It is one of the fundamental types of plastic surgery that can be used by orthopedic surgeons, general surgeons, and it is an important part of microsurgery as well. 

  • Microsurgery 

Microsurgery is a type of reconstructive surgery in which missing and broken skin tissues are replaced by healthy tissues from some other part of the body. In this process, the tissues are transferred, and the blood vessels get contacted. It can use for reconstruction of head, neck, and hand. 

  • Pediatric Surgery 

Pediatric surgery is aimed at treating children right after their birth. Because the medical issues of children are different from adults and in some cases, these issues are needed to treat at an early age. This type of surgery can be used for craniofacial anomalies, syndactyly, polydactyly and hand deformities, 


Plastic surgery is an immense topic that cannot be explained in a single go. Some various subsections and processes come under the term. Here we have discussed a comparison between the 2 common forms of plastic surgery, reconstruction surgery, and cosmetic surgery. Both of the processes are equally important and necessary, and hopefully, it will clear all the doubts you have regarding them. 

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