1st February 2013

Who performs plastic surgery?

I have blogged previously about the similarities and differences between plastic surgery, reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery.  Many surgical specialties perform plastic surgery related to their anatomical areas of expertise.  For example Eye (Ophthalmic) surgery has a branch called Oculaplastic surgery.  These eye surgeons specialise in plastic surgery of the eyelids.  Maxillo facial surgeons and ENT surgeons who are concerned with diseases and injury of the face perform plastic surgery of these areas.  I as an ENT Surgeon have for over 15 years developed specialisation in the nose and perform reconstructive and cosmetic surgery on the nose.  I think it is very important that surgeons performing cosmetic surgery on an area of the body have extensive experience of reconstructive plastic surgery of the same area of the body.  My feeling is that cosmetic surgery should not be a speciality of its own because this suggests it’s possible to be a master of surgery of all areas of the body and that it’s possible to master cosmetic surgery separately from reconstructive plastic surgery.  I do though think there are special concerns about cosmetic or aesthetic plastic surgery that surgeons performing this surgery should fully understand particularly the psychological motivations and effects of surgery.  Special ethical issues are also important to understand in this area.  Cosmetic surgery is serious and is very different from the beauty industry and should not be promoted or marketed as being so.