The procedures, techniques, and principles of cosmetic surgery are entirely focused on enhancing a patient’s appearance.” (American Board of Cosmetic Surgery)

As with all surgical disciplines which have developed over time, with many breaking off into their own area, the same may be said of cosmetic surgery which straddles multiple different specialties and covers the whole body. 

Of course, some aspects of cosmetic practice fall more under the umbrella of certain specialties, but these are gradually becoming their own new specialties.  For example, both burns surgery and post-bariatric contouring/ restorative surgery are creating their own niche away from reconstructive plastic surgery – a protracted endeavour due to medical practice being parochial, and due to political winds aimed at protecting turf. 

Since cosmetic procedures treat body areas that function properly, cosmetic surgery is designated as elective.  In fact, meaningful training in cosmetic surgery is obtained separately from training in plastic surgery, which, by definition in Western countries, focusses on reconstruction primarily for function-purposes and is not wholly elective, therefore.

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