For many people, plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery are all the same creature. But believe it or not, there’s a difference. Each is related, but there is a slight difference that you should know with each of them. Let’s take a look at each of them.
Plastic surgery is an all-encompassing term for surgery that’s done to re-shape body parts, whether it’s needed for health purposes or just for the sake of appearance. Most of the time, it refers to surgery done on the outside of the body. In the case of labiaplasty and vaginoplasty, it’s not so much an “outside” procedure, but it’s still not as “inner” heart surgery or an appendectomy, which are done on the inner organs. Within the larger term of plastic surgery are the two sub-categories of reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery.
Reconstructive surgery is done on people who have had some severe damages to their bodies-normally the skin. As a result, the affected area finds it difficult to function properly. The damages treated by reconstructive surgery are normally caused by accidents, although in some cases, they might happen due to other medical procedures (for example, a mastectomy).
Cosmetic surgery refers to a procedure where there is normally not a medical necessity for a change in the body. However, the patient has decided that, for the sake of appearance and his or her self-esteem, they want to modify a certain body part. This could be the nose, the stomach, the face, or yes, the vagina. Cosmetic surgery should not be trivialized, because many people feel they would truly be happier if their appearance could be altered in some form-hence the need for cosmetic surgery.
Incidentally, there is an overlap between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. For instance, if a person has an extreme abnormality on their face, such as a large mark, it could cause the patient real problems. Same thing with a crooked nose. So in these cases, some would characterize the procedure as cosmetic surgery, while others would call it reconstructive surgery.
Some people who find reconstructive surgery perfectly acceptable might find cosmetic surgery objectionable. However, we’ve found that most people who seek even cosmetic surgery have a legitimate feeling that they can function in a better, happier lifestyle if they get the procedure. Ultimately, it’s up to the patient to decide what is right for her.