What Is The Difference Between Reconstructive and Cosmetic Procedures?

There are two main types of plastic surgery: Reconstructive and cosmetic. These types of procedures aim to optimize both the function and appearance of a body part, regardless of the primary reason for them.

Reconstructive surgery is typically performed when there is a problem with a specific part of the body. The procedure is done so that the person can lead a normal life. 

Cosmetic surgery is performed to improve the appearance of a body part that already functions correctly. There is some overlap between the two types as well as some gray areas that need careful analysis.

Reconstructive Surgery

Reconstructive surgery is done when there is a structural abnormality. These can have several causes: 

  • Congenital deformities
  • Trauma
  • Developmental abnormalities
  • Infection
  • Disease
  • Tumors

Reconstructive surgery usually seeks to improve function, but in some cases, it may also be used to more closely approximate a normal appearance. This type of procedure is generally covered by health insurance providers, although there is significant variation among plans.There are several different types of reconstructive surgery. Treatments can reconstruct breasts, cleft palates, parts of limbs, and parts of the body that have suffered severe burns.

Breast Reconstruction

Women who have had a mastectomy may choose to have breast reconstruction surgery. There are multiple options for this procedure, including using your own body tissue or implants.

Burn Repair Surgery

Severe burns can cause loss of mobility or lack of sensation in the burned area. In such cases, reconstructive surgery may be recommended. Some techniques that can be used for covering burns or similar wounds are skin grafts, microsurgery, tissue expansion, and the free flap procedure.

Congenital Defect Repair

Children who are born with a cleft lip and palate may have several reconstructive procedures to repair the defect in parts as they grow. Babies born with deformities of their extremities may also require surgery to enable them to have a healthier life.

Hand Surgery

Reconstructive hand surgery may be necessary when a patient has rheumatoid arthritis. It can involve joint replacement, and soft tissue releases to improve function and appearance. Bone fusions may also be used in some cases.

Upper or Lower Extremity Reconstruction

This procedure, also known as limb salvage, reconstructs and restores these parts of the body after an accident, cancer, or infection. Trauma can be a result of acute or chronic injuries that may cause unbearable pain and affect the patient’s quality of life.

Cosmetic Procedures

Cosmetic surgery is performed to improve the form and appearance of body structures already considered standard. However, unlike reconstructive procedures, even the best health insurance plans may not cover this kind of treatment.

Cosmetic procedures can be used to enhance various parts of your figure. These include the face, breasts, skin, and body contour.

Body Contouring

There are several types of body contouring procedures. Some of these are the tummy tuck, liposuction, gynecomastia surgery.

A tummy tuck improves the appearance of the abdominal area. The surgery removes excess fat and skin and tightens abdominal muscles to produce a firmer and smoother look.

If you decide to get evaluated for a tummy tuck, you need to keep in mind that this is considered a cosmetic surgery, because this aims to improve your appearance. You could choose either a cosmetic or plastic surgeon – or one who specializes in this type of procedure. The important thing is to pick someone who is board certified and well-experienced in tummy tucks.”

Liposuction is another option for improving body contouring. In this procedure, a tube is used to suction adipose (fat) tissue from your body.

Gynecomastia is an enlargement of a man’s breast tissue. Surgery to remove it is also known as male breast reduction.

Breast Enhancement

Many women would like to change the shape, size, or firmness of their breasts. Typical procedures for these purposes include breast augmentation, breast lift, and breast reduction.

Breast augmentation involves implanting additional material into the area to increase their volume. You can choose the type of material to be used.

A breast lift is usually the choice of women who would like them to sit higher on their chests. This procedure raises the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue.

Breast reduction involves the removal of excess skin, fat, and other tissue from them. This surgery may be performed to reduce the weight of them or to make them more proportional to the rest of the body.

Facial Contouring

Some available facial surgeries are rhinoplasty and chin or cheek enhancement. Rhinoplasty involves reshaping the nose to harmonize better with the rest of the face. Chin or cheek enhancement can also help bring balance to facial features.

Facial Rejuvenation

Facial rejuvenation can include procedures like the facelift, brow lift, neck lift, or eyelid lift. All of these surgeries involve tightening droopy skin to provide a more youthful look.

Skin Rejuvenation

Skin rejuvenation has become a popular procedure in recent years. Some options are Botox, laser resurfacing, scar revision, and filler treatments. All of these aim to restore a smoother and healthier look to the skin.

Case by Case Evaluation

There are some types of plastic surgery that may require special consideration by insurance companies. These involve procedures that can be considered either cosmetic or reconstructive, depending on the situation.

One example is blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery). This surgical operation is usually considered to be cosmetic and thus not covered by insurance. However, if eyelids droop so severely that they obstruct the person’s vision, the procedure can be considered medically necessary and therefore could be covered.