18 doctors weighed in:
Are healthcare specialties "plastic surgery" and "reconstructive surgery" the same?
18 doctors weighed in

Dr. Barry Press
Surgery - Plastics
6 doctors agree
In brief: No, but...
Both are done by plastic surgeons.
Reconstructive surgery starts with an abnormality; the surgeon attempts to bring things back towards normal. Cosmetic (or aesthetic) surgery starts with the normal and tries to make it better. Plastic surgeons may perform one or the other and/or hand surgery, craniofacial surgery, microsurgery, and other procedures as well.

In brief: No, but...
Both are done by plastic surgeons.
Reconstructive surgery starts with an abnormality; the surgeon attempts to bring things back towards normal. Cosmetic (or aesthetic) surgery starts with the normal and tries to make it better. Plastic surgeons may perform one or the other and/or hand surgery, craniofacial surgery, microsurgery, and other procedures as well.
Dr. Barry Press
Dr. Barry Press
Thank
Dr. Tom Pousti
Surgery - Plastics
4 doctors agree
In brief: Yes.
Surgeons who are board certified plastic surgeons are trained in both reconstructive and aesthetic surgery.
Often, as a plastic surgeon's practice “matures” he/she will develop a area of interest or expertise. For example, a plastic surgeon may specialize in reconstructive surgery, aesthetic surgery or have a combination practice. Hope this helps.

In brief: Yes.
Surgeons who are board certified plastic surgeons are trained in both reconstructive and aesthetic surgery.
Often, as a plastic surgeon's practice “matures” he/she will develop a area of interest or expertise. For example, a plastic surgeon may specialize in reconstructive surgery, aesthetic surgery or have a combination practice. Hope this helps.
Dr. Tom Pousti
Dr. Tom Pousti
Thank
Dr. Ralph Rosato
Surgery - Plastics
3 doctors agree
In brief: Great question
In 1937 the american board of plastic surgery was founded.
After the horrors of modern warfare it became apparent that current specialties were not able to treat the loss of function and altered appearances for these courageous men and women. After repairing traumatic injuries a natural off shoot was to develop cosmetic surgery. Do you wonder why non plastic surgeons do plastic surgery?

In brief: Great question
In 1937 the american board of plastic surgery was founded.
After the horrors of modern warfare it became apparent that current specialties were not able to treat the loss of function and altered appearances for these courageous men and women. After repairing traumatic injuries a natural off shoot was to develop cosmetic surgery. Do you wonder why non plastic surgeons do plastic surgery?
Dr. Ralph Rosato
Dr. Ralph Rosato
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Thomas Fiala
Reconstructive surgery is just one part of the plastic surgery family. Other parts are cosmetic surgery, hand surgery, burn surgery, microsurgery, craniofacial, - just to name a few. And the entire field of transplantation grew out of work done by plastic surgeons.
Dr. Adam Schaffner
Surgery - Plastics
3 doctors agree
In brief: Plastic surgery
Plastic surgeons may perform aesthetic plastic surgery or reconstructive surgery.
It is important that a plastic surgeon be able to perform both aesthetic and reconstructive surgery in a given area since principles from aesthetic surgery are used in reconstructive surgery and visa versa.

In brief: Plastic surgery
Plastic surgeons may perform aesthetic plastic surgery or reconstructive surgery.
It is important that a plastic surgeon be able to perform both aesthetic and reconstructive surgery in a given area since principles from aesthetic surgery are used in reconstructive surgery and visa versa.
Dr. Adam Schaffner
Dr. Adam Schaffner
Thank
Dr. Otto Placik
Surgery - Plastics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Same board certifica
According to abms, the american board of plastic sirgery will certify training in plastic surgery.
There is no board of reconstructive surgery and as a generic term, many specialties perform reconstructive surgery. . When i first came into practice our society was called amer society plast & reconstruct (asprs) but it is now called amer. Society plastic surg" (asps) to avoid confusion.

In brief: Same board certifica
According to abms, the american board of plastic sirgery will certify training in plastic surgery.
There is no board of reconstructive surgery and as a generic term, many specialties perform reconstructive surgery. . When i first came into practice our society was called amer society plast & reconstruct (asprs) but it is now called amer. Society plastic surg" (asps) to avoid confusion.
Dr. Otto Placik
Dr. Otto Placik
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Jason Lichten
Unfortunately, especially in cosmetic plastic surgery, there are many doctors who will offer surgeries that typically part of plastic surgery training and calll themselves "cosmetic surgeons". This may confuse patients as to what the doctors actual training is. These doctors may have just taken weekend courses and may not have the proper background to deal with everything that is involved in plastic surgery. This is why it is so important to make sure your surgeon is actually Board Certified IN Plastic Surgery.
Dr. Joseph Mele
Surgery - Plastics
In brief: Yes!
The asps (american association of plastic surgeons) was formerly the asprs (american association of plastic and reconstructive surgeons).
The name was simplified but the surgeons remain the same.

In brief: Yes!
The asps (american association of plastic surgeons) was formerly the asprs (american association of plastic and reconstructive surgeons).
The name was simplified but the surgeons remain the same.
Dr. Joseph Mele
Dr. Joseph Mele
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Christopher Crosby
Board Certified, Dermatology
12 years in practice
93K people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors