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What's The Difference Between Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery?

Many patients who hear the terms plastic or cosmetic surgery assume that the two are synonymous. However, there are fine distinctions between the two types of surgery.

If you are considering a procedure and looking for a surgeon, it’s critical that you fully understand these differences.

What is Plastic Surgery?

Plastic surgery is a branch of surgery dedicated to the reconstruction of the body or facial defects due to an illness, trauma, disease or birth defect.

The main aim of plastic surgery is to restore the function of the tissues and skin. Our board-certified plastic surgeons offer advanced surgical solutions such as:

  • Ganglion cyst removals
  • Carpal tunnel release
  • Tendon repairs


However, in some cases, plastic surgery can also be involved with the enhancement of the appearance of a patient through operations such as facelifts, rhinoplasty, breast augmentation and liposuction.


What is Cosmetic Surgery?

Cosmetic surgery is a unique discipline of medicine focused on enhancing appearance through surgical and medical techniques. It can be performed on all areas of the head, neck, and body.

Unlike with plastic surgery, cosmetically treated areas function properly but lack aesthetic appeal. As such, cosmetic surgery is considered to be elective.

Most Popular Cosmetic Procedures

Breast Surgery

Breast surgery encompasses a range of cosmetic procedures to reshape the size of your breasts for increased comfort and aesthetic appeal. This can include:

  • Breast augmentation
  • Breast lift/Mastopexy
  • Breast Reduction

Learn More About Kelowna Breast Surgery

Face Surgery

Facial cosmetic surgery aims to improve visible signs of aging in the face and the neck. This includes:

Learn More About Kelowna Face Surgery

Skin Treatments

If you are suffering from skin conditions such as acne and rosacea or simply have some unwanted fine facial lines, Kelowna skin treatments are designed to restore the youth and vitality to your skin for a healthier, more beautiful appearance.

Skin treatments include:

Learn More About Kelowna Skin Treatments

Body Contouring Procedures

Body contouring procedures focus on removing stubborn, loose skin from trouble areas such as the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, and arms.

Such cosmetic procedures include:

  • Liposuction
  • Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)
  • Brachioplasty (arm lift)
  • Thigh lift

Learn More About Kelowna Body Contouring


Choosing your surgeon


Whether you are considering extensive cosmetic surgery such as an abdominoplasty or liposuction or are simply opting for a non-invasive dermal filler or other skin treatments, selecting a board certified plastic surgeon is essential.

At Peterson MD, we have a skilled team of board-certified plastic surgeons who are fully trained to provide a scope of cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures and give our patients the safest, most effective results.


Learn More


If you want to learn more about a particular cosmetic/plastic procedure or would like to know more about the credentials of our plastic surgeons, contact our clinic today at 250-868-9290.

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Latest Testimonial

I recently had liposuction done by Dr. Peterson to fix Coolsculpt I had had done that left me uneven. He was very professional, caring and compassionate and assured me everything could be fixed. I can't express my gratitude to Dr. Peterson for what an amazing job he did and how well he took care of me. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for a plastic surgeon, in fact I have recommended him to many friends and they have all been very happy. My experience at the clinic was amazing, right from the beginning talking with Cynthia and the amazing care I got from all the nurses, I felt very special.

T. G.

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