Reconstructive Surgery Vs Cosmetic Surgery

There is a stigma around plastic surgery, but some may not know that important surgeries, like reconstructive surgery, fall under plastic surgery. Plastic surgery is most thought to be for cosmetics or appearance altering, but it can be very important in the result of a trauma. 

What Is Reconstructive Surgery?

Reconstructive surgery is a type of plastic surgery that is utilized to fix or rebuild any birth defects or defects that have been caused due to illness or injury. Reconstructive surgery is primarily suggested and performed due to medical necessity. 

Examples of Reconstructive Surgery

There are many different types of reconstructive surgery that you may not have considered to be reconstructive before. Examples include:

  • Cleft lip repair
  • Limb salvaging
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Breast reduction
  • Fix webbed fingers
  • Migraine surgery
  • Rhinoplasty (nose surgery)

Some of these may seem like cosmetic surgeries, like breast reduction, but there is normally always a medical reason to go through with the surgery, like excessive back pain. A rhinoplasty, or commonly referred to as a nose job, may also be a misconception because this is oftentimes used to clear nasal passages. 

What Is Cosmetic Surgery?

Cosmetic surgery is a type of plastic surgery that is used to alter the appearance of a body part. This is most likely an elective surgery and is where most of the stigma surrounding plastic surgery lies. 

Examples of Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery is not medically necessary, its sole purpose is to make you look and feel better about yourself. Examples include:

  • Tummy tuck
  • Butt lift
  • Liposuction
  • Facelift
  • Hair transplant
  • Rhinoplasty (nose surgery)

The rhinoplasty made it on both lists because it can be a form of both surgeries. While some do receive it due to medical needs, others do receive it for cosmetic purposes. 

Facial Reconstructive Surgery

The most common type of reconstructive surgery would probably be facial reconstructive due to all the different areas that can be rebuilt. The following are all examples of facial reconstructive surgery:

  • Cleft lip repair
  • Rhinoplasty (nose surgery)
  • Scar removal
  • Facial paralysis surgery
  • Otoplasty (ear surgery)

Is Reconstructive Surgery Covered by Insurance?

Some of the costs of reconstructive surgeries may be covered by your insurance if your medical provider can prove that there is a medical necessity for the procedure. Cosmetic surgery, on the other hand, is usually not covered by insurance because it is usually an elective surgery. To be covered by insurance, your medical provider needs to believe that the surgery will enhance your physical function.

Reach out to a doctor to learn more about reconstructive surgeries