Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences between "plastic surgery", "cosmetic surgery" and "reconstructive surgery"?

The term "plastic surgery" is the broad category that includes many different types of surgical and non-surgical procedures. The two large sub-categories of plastic surgery are "cosmetic surgery" and "reconstructive surgery".

Cosmetic surgery involves surgeries that are almost exclusively elective procedure performed for cosmetic / aesthetic reasons. For example, if someone is unhappy with the contour of their nose then they may elect to undergo rhinoplasty, a nose-job procedure that can reshape the nose. Although this is only an aesthetical change, cosmetic surgeries can have profound impacts on a person's self-confidence and self-esteem. Because these types of surgeries and elective and cosmetic, they are generally not covered by health insurance.

Reconstructive surgery is usually performed for the purposes of improving or repairing the functionality or operation of a body part. For example, if someone is suffering from Carpal tunnel syndrome in their hands, reconstructive surgery may be necessary to restore full functionality of the hand. Since some reconstructive surgeries are for medical / health reasons they may be covered to varying degrees by health insurance policies.

Is plastic surgery covered by health insurance?

Cosmetic plastic surgery is generally not covered by health insurance because they are elective procedure for aesthetic-only reasons. However, reconstructive plastic surgeries may be covered by health insurance if they are medically necessary to restore or improve functionality or operation of a body part. Because every individual and health insurance policy is different, consult your surgeon and health insurance company to determine your specific coverage.

Should I have plastic surgery?

Deciding whether or not to have plastic surgery is a very personal choice. Many people choose elective cosmetic plastic surgery to improve their self-esteem and confidence by altering physical features with which they are unhappy. You should never have cosmetic surgery to satisfy other people. If you do choose to have a procedure performed it should be because it will make you happier as a person, not because it will make other people think about you differently.

An additional consideration for reconstructive surgery will usually involve work-related matters. For example, if you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome but you need to use your hands for work, then this will become part of the decision-making process.

For both cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries, we strongly recommend to anyone considering plastic surgery that they research the procedure options available and the plastic surgeon they want to perform the procedure.

Am I a good candidate for plastic surgery?

A person is considered a good candidate for plastic surgery when they are in good general health, have realistic expectations about the results, and when an initial consultation has been performed by the surgeon to assess the individual's characteristics. If you are in good health and have performed some initial research regarding the plastic surgery procedure(s) that you would like, the next step is to find a good local plastic surgeon and schedule a consultation.