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Careers in Medicine: Specialty Information

Plastic Surgery

Nature of the work

A plastic surgeon deals with the repair, reconstruction, or replacement of physical defects of form or function involving the skin, musculoskeletal system, head and facial structures, hand, extremities, breasts and trunk or cosmetic enhancement of these areas of the body. Cosmetic surgery is an essential component of plastic surgery. A plastic surgeon uses cosmetic surgical principles to both improve overall appearance and to optimize this outcome of reconstructive procedures.1

Plastic Surgeons can receive training in the following subspecialties:

  • Plastic Surgery within the Head and Neck - reconstructive treatment of disorders of the soft and hard tissues of the face and cranial areas.
  • Surgery of the Hand - expertise in the investigation, preservation, and restoration by medical, surgical and rehabilitative means, of all structures of the hand and wrist.

Training/residency information

The residency training program for plastic surgery is five to seven years. One year of additional training is required to practice in one of the subspecialties.

Salary information

The annual salary for plastic surgeons ranges from $300,000 to $791,510.2

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