What is the Difference Between a Cosmetic Surgeon and a Plastic Surgeon?
Cosmetic surgery is performed by a number of different medical practitioners in Australia and around the world. Essentially, there are 4 groups of doctors who perform cosmetic surgery. A dermatologist is an Australian recognized specialist who has spent many years training in the disorders of skin. This is done after he has finished his general medical practice. Dermatologists throughout the world have played a pioneering role in cosmetic procedures and cosmetic surgery. In particular, dermatologists were the first to use and describe dermal fillers for wrinkles, muscle relaxants for wrinkles, many of the lasers for facial rejuvenation, and removal of unwanted problems such as hair. Also, an American dermatologist was the first to describe the pioneering method of liposculpture called tumescent liposuction. Therefore, it is natural for dermatologists to perform cosmetic procedures both on the face and body. The second group is plastic surgeons. Plastic surgeons specialize for many years after they have finished their medical training. They specialize in microsurgery of the hand and removal of skin cancers. They also advanced surgical procedures such as brow lifting and deep face lifts. Many cosmetic surgeons will have spent time overseas to sub-specialize in this area. There are other specialists such as ear, nose, and throat specialists who also perform cosmetic surgery. The final group is cosmetic surgeons. This is a term used for anybody who performs cosmetic surgery. Some cosmetic surgeons are actually general practitioners who have not had any government-recognized formal training as a specialist. It is forbidden by law for them to call themselves specialists. A new college, called the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgeons has been developed over the last few years with the goal to help train and unify doctors who perform cosmetic surgery.
People often ask, “What is the difference between being a cosmetic surgeon and being a dermatological surgeon?” Dr. Lanzer is a dermatologist and certainly believes that his years of extra training in understanding skin have helped him as a surgeon of the skin. Having said that, Dr. Lanzer does stress that the degree itself does not guarantee that the surgeon is going to necessarily be the best surgeon. There are other factors that are critical in cosmetic surgery. First and foremost includes the character of the surgeon and his general ethics. Skills vary between people regardless of their specialty. Some surgeons have a particular knack and skill in forming procedures. The ability to actually visualize and project the potential results is also a very important skill. Finally, communication skills are very important when it comes to cosmetic surgery. Patients do need to understand what they are having done, what the risks are, and what the potential outcomes are. In the long-term, this is what will probably play one of the most important factors in the patient being satisfied with the outcome.
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Surgical Warning: Every form of surgery has a possibility of a complication and these are given to you in detail by Dr Lanzer. It is a good idea to understand your surgical procedure well, and to obtain further advice from another Specialist such as a Dermatological surgeon like Dr Lanzer.
All photographs represent one person’s experience, and results may vary for each patient. All photographs are of actual patients of Dr Lanzer. The visible change in these photographs has occurred as a result of the procedure/s undertaken.