Cosmetic surgery is growing in popularity day-by-day. However, there are many questions and misconceptions about the specialty.
At ASC our goal is to help patients make educated decisions about their surgical options. Before choosing the best surgeon with the right combination of skills, training, and bed side manner to meet your needs, it is important to understand that there are distinct differences between cosmetic and plastic surgeons. These differences do not make one specialty more superior than the other, but they do influence whether a particular surgeon is the best fit for you. Many of Dr. Aguirre’s surgical patients undergo breast enhancement, complex abdominal rejuvenation and even facial rejuvenation procedures at the time of their Intimate Makeover. Dr. Aguirre has collaborated with many of Denver’s Top plastic surgeons for many years and is thus able to help his patients navigate through their many options. At your consultation, Dr. Aguirre and his knowledgeable staff would determine if such a referral is necessary.
The difference between cosmetic and plastic surgery.
According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, cosmetic surgery is a unique discipline of medicine focused on enhancing appearance through surgical and medical techniques. Cosmetic surgery can be performed on all areas of the head, neck and body, including genitalia. Because treated areas function properly but lack aesthetic appeal, cosmetic surgery is considered elective.
Plastic surgery is defined as a surgical specialty dedicated to reconstruction of facial and body defects due to birth disorders, trauma, burns and disease. Plastic surgery is intended to correct dysfunctional areas of the body and is reconstructive in nature. Many plastic surgeons also perform cosmetic surgery. Historically, plastic surgeons would begin their careers performing primarily reconstructive procedures, and as their practices grew they would expand their cosmetic surgical experience and clientele.
The education difference between a plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon.
According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, there is no residency program specifically focused on cosmetic surgery, so physicians who wish to pursue cosmetic surgery have different backgrounds. First, a physician must go through medical school and a residency program, preferably in a surgical specialty such as general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, otolaryngology (head and neck surgery), dermatologic surgery or plastic surgery. After proving competent in anatomy, physiology, pathology and basic sciences, a physician may attain board certification in their specialty and then continue their post-residency training specifically in cosmetic surgery. This can be done through a fellowship program (a one-on-one observational and training program with an experienced cosmetic surgeon), as well as through workshops, seminars and lectures. These cosmetic surgeons maintain their board certification in their primary specialty as well as their expertise in cosmetic procedures. Plastic surgeons follow the same educational timeline as many cosmetic surgeons. After finishing medical school they complete a residency in plastic surgery, learning to treat defects of the face and body including tumors, cleft palates, deformities, hand repair and burn injuries. Due to the increasing popularity of cosmetic surgery several of these programs now offer cosmetic training. A physician may then become certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery after passing written and oral exams. At this point, a plastic surgeon may take the same steps as any other specialist, such as an obstetrician and gynecologist, to gain additional experience in cosmetic surgery - through a fellowship training program, workshops, seminars and lectures.
Responding to the enormous growth of cosmetic surgery, the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery created a structured format for those interested in board certification. By 2013, many physicians with enough experience in cosmetic surgery, those who had been in practice for six years and with greater than 1000 cosmetic cases, took advantage of becoming certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, many of them included plastic surgeons. As of 2014, all surgeons must complete an AACS-approved fellowship to be become certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.
The Importance of Sub-Specialty Certification and Training
While both plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons are often trained to perform surgery on many areas of the body, it is extremely important to choose one that has extensive training and experience in the area of the body you wish to have enhanced. Thorough knowledge and expertise about both the functional and aesthetic impact of the surgical procedure are necessary to achieve the desired outcome and reduce the risks of complications. Dr. Aguirre, a Reconstructive and Cosmetic Vaginal Surgeon, with his extensive training and experience make him the natural choice for women seeking both pelvic reconstruction and cosmetic enhancement surgery.
Dr. Aguirre’s Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery Experience:
In 1997, Dr. Aguirre completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and then in 1999 he completed a fellowship in Urogynecology. That same year he started his own practice offering the full spectrum of urogynecological services. While building his reconstructive surgical practice he began his intense post-residency training in cosmetic surgery through countless workshops, seminars, and hands-on surgical training with the world’s leading experts in Cosmetic Gynecology, Aesthetic Body Contouring, and Dermal Aesthetics.
In 2013, rather than become board certified by the American Academy and Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Aguirre chose to fulfill and complete his sub-specialty certification process becoming one of the first in the country to hold dual Board Certification in Obstetrics & Gynecology and Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS). Dr. Aguirre continues to maintain his skills and expertise in Cosmetic Surgery by regularly attending workshops and scientific meetings. He is one of a few double board-certified pelvic surgeons in the world with expertise in reconstructive and cosmetic vaginal surgery as well as cosmetic surgery.
In 2014, Dr. Aguirre was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery.