What is the Difference between Cosmetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery

When you think of plastic surgery, perhaps your first though is about Hollywood celebrities who have had cosmetic procedures done. However, did you also know about the life-changing magic of reconstructive plastic surgery?

The Difference Between Cosmetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery

In cosmetic surgery healthy patients undergo procedures to change their physical appearance. Reconstructive plastic surgery on the other hand, focuses on repairing or reconstructing tissue defects caused by medical problems that you were born with, developed because of disease, or came to be because of an injury.

Reconstructive plastic surgery is a surgical specialty which focuses on restoring and reconstructing physical form and function of patient’s body parts. This type of surgery generally involves rebuilding or repairing defects in the face, including facial trauma such as scars, lacerations, trauma and cancer.

It can also include ear reconstruction and hand reconstructions, due to injuries or birth deformities. The end goal of reconstructive plastic surgery is to restore the patient’s lost physical features to their natural form with positive cosmetic results, including improved dexterity for hands or improved hearing for ears. Reconstructive plastic surgeons use a variety of techniques and procedures depending on the individual case some of which include fat grafting, skin grafting, flap surgery, tissue expansion etc. A thorough evaluation by a board-certified specialist should be undertaken prior to deciding if this type of procedure is right for each person.

Different types of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Procedures

Cosmetic surgery is a broad category of surgical and non-surgical procedures used to enhance or improve the appearance of certain features. Some popular types of cosmetic surgery include liposuction, tummy tuck, rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty and breast augmentation. In addition to these more common procedures, there are also subtler variations such as dermal fillers and laser resurfacing that can be opted for when patients wish to achieve a softer look without drastic alterations. All in all, cosmetic surgery is a vast subject that can provide solutions for cosmetic patient needs both conventional and esoteric.

Share some before and after photos of patients who have undergone these surgeries

Many people have seen before and after photos of cosmetic procedures, looking at the remarkable difference they can make in a person’s appearance.

But the true impact of plastic surgery goes beyond aesthetics. Every day, patients seek sophisticated reconstructive surgeries to treat injuries or medical conditions, helping them reclaim function and quality of life.

It is deeply rewarding for surgeons to observe these transformations, which are often truly incredible.

For example, one patient received a full thyroidectomy for cancer treatment, but with careful post-surgical reconstruction was able to restore their neck's appearance and symmetry. Through specialized treatments like this one, plastic surgeons help individuals regain the confidence to pursue their goals and live life fully again.

The Benefits of Reconstructive plastic surgery

There are many benefits to reconstructive plastic surgery. One of the most important is that it can help people feel better about their appearance. It can also improve their self-esteem and give them a more positive outlook on life. Another benefit is that it can help people regain function and mobility. This can be especially important for people who have been in accidents or who have undergone cancer treatment. Additionally, reconstructive surgery can help people who have birth defects or who have had injuries that have resulted in disfigurement.

Offer some tips for those considering this type of surgery

If you're considering reconstructive plastic surgery, there are several things to consider before you take the plunge. First, do your research and ensure that your surgeon is board certified; this will reduce the likelihood of experiencing a post-surgery complication. Also, be sure to make an informed decision on who to work with, what your options are for the results that you expect. Finally, talk to people who have had plastic surgery in order to gain insight into postoperative pain and recovery speed. Ultimately, doing your due diligence ahead of time can save you stress in the long run and help guarantee better outcomes for your procedure.


Reconstructive plastic surgery can be a life-changing procedure for many people. It can help restore some sense of wholeness with correcting birth defects, improve function after an injury, or restore appearance after cancer surgery.


If you or someone you know is considering reconstructive plastic surgery, it's important to do your research and consult with a qualified surgeon. But for many people, the results of these procedures can be life-changing in the best way possible.


With 35 years combined experience, trained microvascular trained board certified reconstructive plastic surgeons Dr. George Dreszer & Dr. James Fletcher have extensive experience in performing a variety of life-improving procedures.


Breast cancer reconstruction after mastectomy using your own tissue.
Breast Cancer reconstruction with Implants
Catastrophic Injuries to the body including face trauma, burn injuries and limb salvage
Highly specialized in hand surgery including fractures, ligament, tendon and nerve injuries
Sophisticated Aesthetic procedures such as tummy tuck, breast augmentation & lift, Facelift, eye lid lift & cosmetic procedures for men as well.


They will work with you to create a bespoke treatment plan that meets your individual needs and goals.


Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how reconstructive plastic surgery can help improve your confidence, functionality & quality of life.