What is Facial Plastic Surgery?
Facial plastic surgeons are physicians who provide surgical or medical treatment to change the appearance of the face, head, or neck. We communicate a great deal through tiny, natural movements of the face, so the work of a facial plastic surgeon requires an unusually high level of skill.
Facial plastic surgeons provide a number of treatment options, such as:
Cosmetic surgery, intended to enhance the appearance. These procedures are usually considered elective, although they can be psychologically very important to patients. Cosmetic procedures seek to increase physical beauty, and can include facelifts, liposuction, and nose jobs.
Reconstructive surgery, to correct the appearance. Often these procedures are considered medically necessary and treat patients who are experiencing negative effects due to an aspect of their appearance. Procedures that can be considered reconstructive may include the removal of birthmarks and scars, repairs after serious accidents, and the correction of problems such as cleft palate.
Medical treatments that do not involve surgery. This category of procedures includes Botox, wrinkle treatments, injectable fillers, or medical skin products.
Facial plastic surgeons may have trained as plastic surgeons first, but most physicians who specialize in facial plastic surgery actually begin as otolaryngologists, or ear, nose, and throat doctors. A large part of the training that all otolaryngologists receive in medical school involves surgery on the face, and facial plastic surgery is considered the largest subspecialty of otolaryngology.
The field of facial plastic surgery is changing rapidly, with new advances in the past few years, such as laser therapy, minimally invasive surgery, and microsurgery. Facial plastic surgeons are able to use this knowledge to help you feel confident about the face you present to the world.
What is Surgical Dermatology?
Dermatologic surgery is skin surgery to correct medical issues or improve appearance. Specialists in dermatologic surgery are called surgical dermatologists.
One of the most important procedures performed by surgical dermatologists is called Mohs surgery. Mohs surgery is an extremely precise type of cancer removal that leaves healthy tissue behind. It has the highest success rate of all skin cancer surgeries.
Beyond Mohs surgery, dermatologic surgeons may perform reconstructive surgery to restore function and appearance to skin damaged by trauma or a previous surgery. They can treat or remove growths and marks on the surface of the skin, including scars, moles, skin tags, and birthmarks. Most dermatologic surgeons also offer cosmetic treatments, which may include:
Laser hair removal
Laser resurfacing to treat sun damage, age spots, or wrinkles
Sclerotherapy to treat varicose veins
Liposuction to remove unwanted fat
Anti-aging treatments such as Botox, injectable fillers, or chemical peels
There is a great deal of overlap between surgical dermatology, medical dermatology, and cosmetic dermatology. Some procedures apply to more than one subspecialty. For instance, mole removal can be medically necessary to lower the risk of skin cancer, but it also may improve appearance, especially if the mole is large or in a prominent position. Most dermatologists offer services in all areas.