The Difference Between Plastic Surgery And Cosmetic Surgery

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There has been a rise in the amount of people in the United States that elect to go through cosmetic surgery. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, “[t]here were more than 10 million surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures performed in the United States in 2014. Surgical procedures accounted for 60% of the total expenditures and nonsurgical procedures accounted for 40% of the total expenditures” (ASAPS). Most insurance companies may already cover plastic surgery to a certain extent; “reconstructive surgeries that correct a legitimate medical concern are usually insured on the basis that they are necessary for one’s health and well-being” (Child 5). Insurance does not cover cosmetic surgeries that changes the …show more content…
Plastic surgery is focused on reconstruction, such as that of congenital defects, trauma, and disease. It corrects dysfunctional areas of the body. Cosmetic surgery on the other hand is focused on enhancing a patient’s appearance, generally speaking. Due to the work being done on areas whose function is working properly, it is elective. An example between for the distinction of these two is rhinoplasty. If it were performed to correct trouble with breathing, then the surgery would be reconstructive. If it were to make the bridge of the nose slimmer, then it would be cosmetic. One trait both share is that it can greatly enhance the quality of life of an individual. An individual who had trouble breathing can now breathe freely and an individual who suffered from low self-esteem due to the bridge of their nose can now be more comfortable in the skin that they are …show more content…
“The main purpose of health insurance is to give patients access to high costing medical care… History has shown that when services are covered by insurance, they gain the connotation of being fundamental, especially in the world of medicine” (Child 9). This can be described as a process called medicalization “by which nonmedical problems become defined and treated as medical problems, usually in terms of illness and/or disorders” (Conrad 4). What defines a real medical problem can either be in the eye of the beholder (or an actual medical authority). When the beholder is a young woman in South Korea, for example, surgery would be as normal as a checkup at the doctor’s office. “South Korea has the world’s highest per capita rate of plastic surgery [where] [o]ne in every five women in Seoul has undergone some form of cosmetic surgery to meet their beauty standard” (Child 4). What is considered normal for them could very well become normal for the United States where there are already a rising number in the people undergoing cosmetic surgery. The idea of surgery providing healing would be completely thrown out the window, where only the goal of aesthetic enhancement would

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