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What’s the Difference Between Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery?

When deciding on the right procedure for you, it’s essential to know whether you’re opting for plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery. 

Contrary to popular belief, cosmetic and plastic surgeries are not the same. These two options overlap and are very similar, but some key differences separate them. These differences can also affect the cost, so clarifying your choice is essential. 

This article looks at the important differences between cosmetic and plastic procedures to help you understand which is best for you. 

Table of Contents

Differences Between Cosmetic And Plastic Surgery

Which Procedures Are Included In Both?

Plastic Surgery And Cosmetic Surgery Price Differences

How Can Beautifi Help?

Differences Between Cosmetic And Plastic Surgery

So, what separates plastic and cosmetic surgery?

Cosmetic surgery is designed to improve the way you look and the aesthetics of your body. This procedure doesn’t fix any medical conditions and is an elective treatment. However, cosmetic surgery falls under the umbrella of plastic surgery, and this overlap is confusing. 

Plastic surgery aims to restore the appearance and function of your body to its standard form. This type of surgery refers to reconstructive options, medical procedures, and non-aesthetic surgeries. However, some cosmetic options fall under this definition too.

Many plastic surgeons offer both plastic and cosmetic options. Since the two categories are closely related, plastic surgeons have the expertise needed to perform both options. In addition, cosmetic surgery techniques are usually learned in a post-residency position, leaving surgeons to learn through work experience. 

Does My Insurance Cover Both Types?

Regarding cosmetic and plastic surgery payment, your insurance will cover some options – but not all cases. 

For example, some reconstructive plastic surgery is necessary for medical reasons. In these situations, your insurance will likely cover the costs. On the other hand, nearly all cosmetic options are elective. Elective means the patient chooses the surgery, even though it’s not necessary. Since this isn’t a healthcare need, you’ll have to pay out of pocket.

Alternatively, financing companies, like Beautifi, can help you find appropriate financing for your elective surgery.

Which Procedures Are Included In Both?

Some aesthetic procedures are seen as cosmetic and plastic surgery. Due to this overlap, insurance companies cover the cost as your choice is medically necessary. 

An excellent example of a procedure that ticks both boxes is rhinoplasty, also known as a nose job. While this surgery is often chosen to improve the aesthetic appearance of a patient’s nose, it can have medical benefits too. Sometimes rhinoplasty assists normal nasal breathing, fixes a break, or restores a deviated septum. 

Another procedure that falls under cosmetic and plastic surgery is breast reduction. Breast reductions are medically needed to help relieve pain and other adverse effects. However, many patients also opt for this procedure to improve the appearance of their breasts. If you’re troubled by your larger breasts, your insurance will help to pay for this cosmetic procedure.

Sometimes facial surgeries can be covered by insurance too. This occurs when plastic surgery addresses congenital disabilities, not just for aesthetic appearance. For example, your insurance provider would cover cleft lip and palate repair. 

Plastic Surgery And Cosmetic Surgery Price Differences

If you can’t get your procedure covered by insurance, you’ll have to pay for the elective surgery out of pocket – even if it usually falls under both categories. 

Let’s look at some of the most common options and how much they cost when not covered by insurance.

Rhinoplasty Cost

Rhinoplasty is a prevalent procedure worldwide, but your insurance will only cover this surgery if you’re having medical issues. Therefore, the majority of patients have to pay for this option alone. 

The average cost for rhinoplasty sits between $5,000 to $15,000. This is a vast difference; your final price will depend on your procedure, the doctor you choose, and your hospital experience. Follow-up appointments and consultations are usually included in this cost.

Facelift Cost

While some facial procedures are covered by insurance, the most popular facial options fall under cosmetic surgery and won’t be covered. The most common facial surgery is a facelift, and this is a purely cosmetic option.

Facelifts can cost anywhere between $6,000 to $25,000, depending on your individual procedure. The details of each facelift are different. Some opt for a minimal procedure with few changes, while others pair eyelid surgeries with other facial procedures. You’ll discuss your individual needs with your doctor when you have your initial consultation. 

Boob Job Cost

When it comes to boob jobs or breast augmentations, the procedure is only covered by insurance if it’s medically necessary. For example, a reduction or reconstruction. If you’re changing the size or shape, it’s unlikely to be covered.

A standard boob job costs anywhere between $5,000 to $12,000. Your cost will depend on the type of implants you choose, the type of augmentation you opt for, and the quality of your surgeon. If you pair breast implants with a breast lift, expect to pay more than only implants.

Can’t see your ideal procedure? Find our complete list of options here.

How Can Beautifi Help?

Though cosmetic surgery isn’t covered by insurance, it doesn’t mean it can’t help you. Both plastic and cosmetic surgeries offer multiple benefits to your mental health and well-being. From a boost in confidence to less stress, your desired look can help you feel better about yourself. 

If your insurance doesn’t cover your desired procedure, don’t worry. Cosmetic procedures don’t have to break your budget. Beautifi offers flexible financing from top healthcare providers to help you achieve your desired aesthetic without waiting. We match you with the best surgeons and provide personalized financing plans to relieve the experience’s stress. 

Are you ready to start your journey? Contact us online today to learn more.