If you think altering your features to make you look more attractive is the sole responsibility of the plastic surgeon, then you need to give it a thought again. There are two types of plastic surgery: cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery. A surgeon performs both. Reconstructive surgery includes rebuilding / reshaping an impaired leg or hand or any other body part, treating the burn marks. The basic purpose of reconstructive surgery is to improve the functioning of any of the body parts whereas the cosmetic surgery is primarily focused on improving the appearance of a person. Cosmetic surgeries are also used to obliterate signs of aging.
Procedures of cosmetic surgery
Generally cosmetic surgeries are performed on women. It includes liposuction (suction lipectomy), breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), breast reduction and many more. There are currently 34 different cosmetic procedures. And nineteen of these 34 procedures are facelift. Botox and laser hair removal are also part of cosmetic non-surgical procedures. America holds the first place in the list of largest markets of cosmetic surgery. Europe holds the second position in the race. In Asia, China and India have given significant amount of contribution to the market of cosmetic surgery.
Career profile of plastic surgeon
For a person pursuing plastic surgery, the upmost requirement is educational qualification i.e. Doctor of Medicine (M.D). You need a board certification in Plastic surgery and a license to practice medicine. There is about 14% growth in the field in plastic surgery. And the growth rate will increase with time as outer beauty is becoming primary concern of the citizens of all nations. A surgeon who is into plastic surgery not only shape body parts but also treats the congenital parts i.e. treating malformed bone structures. The surgeon should be capable of reshaping body parts (cosmetic surgery) as well as replacing body parts (reconstructive surgery). Body contouring also comes under cosmetic surgery.
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O) or Doctor of Medicine (M.D)is a degree to be acclaimed by all the plastic surgeons from an accredited medical school. It is a four-year degree course. In the first two years of college life, student manages his/her studies and laboratory work. In the remaining period of two years, the student works in a hospital or health clinic, to gain experience. Working in the hospital (real life environment) helps student learn how the medical world works. It provides them with exposure.
After completing the medical school, student is expected to complete the residency training. The residency training period of five to six years. In the first three years, the student is expected to perform general surgery. And in the remaining last years, the candidate can perform plastic surgeries. Certain examinations have to be passed for the candidate to work as a plastic surgeon legally. Fellowship can be opted by the candidate after completing the residency training. Performing burn Management, breast surgery, fluid replacement and treating other congenital tissues is considered to be one of the most important task of a surgeon. An experience of 13 years is required for completing the course of plastic surgery. Plastic surgeon has to perform complicated tasks, so utmost experience is expected from them.
Earning a License
To perform surgeries legally, one needs a license. Before going for the residency and the fellowship, you need to acquire a license. In United States, the candidate needs to be certified by USMLE i.e. United States Medical License Examination. And those who have graduated with a degree in Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O), they need to be certified by the COMLEX i.e. Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam. In India, the candidate needs to be certified by the board of Indian Board of Plastic Surgery.
Completing the residency training is mandatory for the students. But the fellowship is opted by those who wish to specialize in a certain category of plastic surgery. Certificates are to be renewed after completing the residency training. The fellowship program is a one-year program and helps a surgeon become proficient in a specific field. With completion of fellowship program, the plastic surgeon is permitted to set up his/her own private office and practice. They can appoint staff and workers to expand their work.