The Difference Between Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery
Most people tend to throw around the terms “plastic surgery,” “reconstructive surgery” and “cosmetic surgery” as though the terms are synonymous. True, they’re all related, but there is a subtle difference. Let’s explain what that difference is, and take a look at the two different types of procedure within the field.
First, understand that plastic surgery is the over-arching term which encompasses the other two. Within the realm of plastic surgery are the areas of cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery. So while it’s true that the person getting cosmetic surgery is getting plastic surgery, it’s not always true that the person undergoing plastic surgery is getting cosmetic surgery. Therefore, we make a distinction between cosmetic and reconstructive procedures.
A cosmetic procedure is aimed at improving the patient’s features primarily for aesthetic purposes. There has been no real physical trauma, nor is there any real deformity.
This is in contrast to co constructive surgery. Its very purpose is the correction of physical features that are grossly abnormal or deformed by the accepted standards of today’s society. This could either be as the result of illness, a birth defect, congenital disorder, or some trauma, such as a fire or accident. In many cases, reconstructive surgery addresses not just a person’s deformed appearance, but it also attempts to improve or correct an abnormality or deficiency in a body part’s function.
Until the past decade or so, plastic surgery was normally seen as a luxury left for the eccentric or wealthy. Along with it came a certain stigma–so much so that many people tried hard to conceal the fact that they had received the procedure. Today, plastic surgery, whether of the cosmetic or reconstructive variety, is much more common and much more accepted. It’s not unusual to hear patients boasting about the procedure to friends and family.
Having said that, in the area of vaginoplasty and labiaplasty, there is still a certain stigma associated with the procedures in some circles. However, these taboos are slowly falling, as well.
The issue of labiaplasty / vaginoplasty is still debated vigorously, and likely will be for several more years. There are those who argue in favor and against it. Proponents of the procedures say that since we spend much money and time improving ourselves in other areas, why should our bodies be any different? Opponents, on the other hand, think it’s a more noble thing to spend our money on improving the inner person rather than obsessing over the outer person.
As in most things, the real answer is probably somewhere between the two extremes. A person’s entire self-esteem should not be determined by whether she gets a labiaplasty–but neither should this be the one area where self-improvement is forbidden.
The bottom line is that a woman must decide for herself whether any plastic surgery, including labiaplasty or vaginoplasty, is right for her. She, more than anyone else, is the one who has to live with her body–and with her inner person, as well.