Understanding the difference between cosmetic surgery vs. plastic and reconstructive surgery
Cosmetic surgery is a medical specialty that primarily focuses on enhancing a patient’s appearance. It is associated with aesthetic goals aimed at improving or altering physical features to achieve a more pleasing look.
Cosmetic surgery procedures are entirely elective, and they are not typically covered by Medicare or private health funds. In most cases, patients pay for cosmetic surgeries out of their own pockets.
One important distinction to note is that cosmetic surgery is not associated with the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) in Australia, and as a result, there are no corresponding MBS item numbers or codes for these procedures. Therefore, individuals who choose to undergo cosmetic surgery can expect to bear the full cost of the procedure. Surgical costs include (but are not limited to):
- Fee for surgeon
- Fee for anaesthetist
- Fee for theatre
Plastic and reconstructive surgery, on the other hand, is a medical specialty that is primarily concerned with restoring or improving the aesthetic and function of the body.
These procedures often involve addressing congenital abnormalities, trauma-related injuries, or medical conditions that affect a person’s appearance or bodily functions. Importantly, many plastic and reconstructive surgery procedures may qualify for coverage by private health fund providers.
In Australia, plastic and reconstructive surgery procedures are typically associated with MBS item numbers. If the criteria specified in the MBS guidelines are met, private health fund providers may partially cover the cost of these procedures. This means that patients who meet the necessary requirements under their insurance policy can benefit from reduced out-of-pocket expenses when undergoing plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Surgeries such as Abdominoplasty for example can be both a cosmetic or reconstructive procedure.
Please Note: Information provided on Dr Mistry’s website is provided as a basic guide, it does not constitute a diagnosis and should not be taken as medical advice. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.