Cosmetic Surgery vs Plastic Surgery


While it’s completely normal for doctors and patients alike to use the terms interchangeably, it’s helpful to learn how and why they differ, particularly when you are looking for a surgeon. You might be surprised to learn that all along, while you thought you were having a plastic surgery procedure, in reality, you were actually planning a cosmetic surgery.

What is the difference between plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery?

The main difference between the two is the main objective of the surgery. As a norm, every type of cosmetic surgery is considered elective surgery, while some plastic surgeries might not.


Plastic surgery, as originally conceived, is meant to help patients reconstruct defects that might impair functions of different parts of the body, such as birth defects that prevent them from properly talking, breathing, or moving; injuries from accidents, burns, or diseases.

Some examples of plastic surgery are:

  • cleft palate repair surgery
  • breast reconstruction after breast cancer
  • extremity defect repair surgery

In order to become Plastic Surgeons, doctors go through extensive training, such as a fellowship in plastic surgery, residency training and pursue a certification by a Plastic Surgery Board. When getting plastic surgery, make sure your doctor is board certified by the plastic surgery board of his country or state. This ensures your doctor is up to date on surgical training and knows how to safely perform a plastic surgery.

Cosmetic surgery vs plastic surgery?

While cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are different, they are not total opposites. In order to successfully and safely perform the most common types of cosmetic surgery procedures, the best doctors are usually trained in plastic surgery AND cosmetic surgery.

Cosmetic surgery is completely focused on enhancing our appearance. From fixing the slightly crooked tip of your nose to lifting your breasts and disappearing deep wrinkles, cosmetic surgery can do it all. Thanks to years of surgical training and new revolutionary techniques that have changed the way cosmetic surgery is done, we are seeing the most natural and aesthetically satisfying results ever!

If you do a little digging online, it’s possible to come across warnings against cosmetic surgeons. This is because any licensed surgeon can practice cosmetic surgery, regardless of the specialized training on cosmetic procedures. Sadly, it is not uncommon to find all types of doctors practicing cosmetic surgery in order to make profits.


When doctors follow strict training in cosmetic surgery, you can rest assured that you are in good hands. How do you know if your doctor is a good cosmetic surgeon? Background, extensive education, board license and specialty within cosmetic surgery.


Our VIDA surgeons were trained as plastic and cosmetic surgeons, making them some of the most accomplished surgeons in the field. Why should this be a decisive factor? When a doctor has been trained as a plastic surgeon, he is introduced to cosmetic surgery. From there, the surgeon can follow specialized training on cosmetic surgery. Only board certified plastic and cosmetic surgeons have the knowledge and ability to safely perform these surgeries! It is also important to know your cosmetic surgeon’s area of expertise and technique.

Our board-certified plastic and cosmetic surgeons are experts in these cosmetic surgery procedures:

Facelift and Necklift.

Rhinoplasty (Nose surgery)

Eyelid and brow lift.

Liposuction and Abdominal Etching.

Tummy tuck.

Brazilian Butt Lift and Butt Implants.

Vaginal Rejuvenation Surgery.

Breast Lift and Breast Augmentation.

…Among others!


Whether you are looking for a Plastic Surgeon or a Cosmetic Surgeon, or anything in between, don’t hesitate to contact VIDA. Call us now at (619)610-1667. so we can set up a one-on-one consultation with one of our expert, board certified Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeons.

Dr. Alejandro Quiroz

Dr. Quiroz is our board-certified Chief Plastic Surgeon at VIDA Clinic in Tijuana. He specializes in Facial Rejuvenation, Neck lift, Buttock Augmentation, Breast Augmentation, Body Contouring and more. He is member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, San Diego Plastic Surgery Society, the Mexican Society of Aesthetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and the Mexican Council of Aesthetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, to mention a few.