The difference between plastic surgery & cosmetic surgery is not known by most people outside of the medical community. There are even those who interchange the two thinking they are the same. The truth is these are two entirely different types of surgery. more info here
Plastic surgery is an invasive procedure that replaces or repairs physically defective function or form of the body’s crainomaxillofacial structure, skin, musculoskeletal system, external genitalia, breasts and hand extremities. There are people who would like to undergo reconstructive surgery to correct any physical malformation of the body such as scar and laceration repair, removal of tumors and hand surgery.
Cosmetic surgery on the other hand is a procedure done on a normal body just to make it look better so that the person would feel more confident about herself. This is not a vital procedure that has to be treated like a life-threatening condition; it is done because he or she just wants to appear more attractive. Celebrities, movie stars and TV personalities usually undergo this type of surgery, as they need to look perfect in front of the camera for their audience to see.
The difference between plastic surgery & cosmetic surgery can be discerned even more with this example. A sufferer of breast cancer has to undergo breast surgery to avoid health risks. This type of surgery is classified as plastic surgery. A woman who would like to have bigger or fuller breasts will have a breast augmentation to have the kind of breasts she wants for her to look and feel good about her body. This falls under cosmetic surgery.
There is also a difference between a plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon. The former has to finish a medical degree and attend around a decade of post-graduate surgical training that includes 2-5 years of surgery and around 4 years in cosmetic plastic surgery training.
A cosmetic surgeon on the other hand just has to complete the usual medical degree. There is no law that states a doctor should have training in cosmetic surgery. They can then practice any specialty in cosmetic surgery even if they have not finished the training in that specific field. Many doctors have no training in surgery yet they perform cosmetic surgery procedures such as facelifts, liposuction and breast operations. Those who wish to make a career of this field should get training in surgery and apply for certification or license.