Plastic surgery is a surgical subspecialty whose broad purpose is to minimize both cosmetic and functional deformities which result from trauma, birth defects, or disfiguring illness. Derived from the Greek word plastikos, which means to shape or to mold, plastic surgeons are sculptors of the human form.
Because of plastic surgeons' long and broad training, they are capable of performing a wide variety of procedures. The requisite five to eight year post-medical school training period allows most plastic surgeons the ability to perform much more than just cosmetic surgery. In fact, most plastic surgeons perform hand surgery, microsurgery, cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery. While each plastic surgeon may have an area of greatest focus, all board-certified and board-eligible plastic and reconstructive surgeons share a common training background.