It is important to distinguish between (note: Royal Decree 1277/2003 of October 10):
- Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery: Care unit in which a physician specialized in plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery is responsible for surgically correcting congenital or acquired conditions, tumors and age-related changes requiring reconstruction or replacement of surface structures that affect the body’s shape and ability to function.
- Cosmetic Surgery: Care unit in which a physician specialized in plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery or another surgical specialist working in the sphere of his or her specialty is responsible for performing surgical treatments for the cosmetic enhancement of the hair, face or body.
- Cosmetic Medicine: Care unit in which a physician is responsible for performing non-surgical treatments for cosmetic enhancement of the face or body.
Seek good advice and weigh the pros and cons of surgery carefully.
Key factors for deciding whether or not to have plastic, cosmetic or reconstructive surgery
The decision is absolutely personal. It should never be made by family members or friends, no matter how good their intentions may be. Do not let yourself be influenced by third parties.
How do I know which plastic surgeon is best for me?
The specialization in plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery is recognized by the European Union. It is easy to find a list of plastic surgeons in a city or country through the respective medical associations or the Spanish Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery. This list, along with information from your general physician and from acquaintances who have undergone treatment, will enable you to choose the best option.
Compare and Contrast Information
Ask for information about the surgical procedure you will have done (benefits, risks), the type of anesthesia that will be used, who the anesthetist will be, the postoperative period, the center where the operation will be performed, etc. If you are not satisfied with the specialist’s explanation you should see others, until you find a professional who meets all your needs.
Understand What Can Be Achieved
Good patient-physician understanding is crucial. After the cosmetic problem has been identified, the surgeon will inform you of the possible solutions and guarantees of success in terms of the given severity.