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Overview

To be human is to be imperfect, but if concerns about how you look make you feel self-conscious and unhappy, aesthetic (or cosmetic) plastic surgery is an option.

“Aesthetic plastic surgery can buoy a patient’s spirit, self-confidence and happiness,” says Michael Alperovich, MD, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon for Yale Medicine. 

At Yale Medicine, our highly trained plastic surgeons work to improve lives, performing a wide variety of surgeries to address our patients’ aesthetics concerns.

What is aesthetic plastic surgery?

Aesthetic plastic surgery (also called cosmetic surgery) refers to procedures that improve the appearance of the face and body. They include tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), breast augmentation, breast reduction, eyelid surgery, nose reshaping (rhinoplasty), face lift and removal of fat (liposuction).

What is the difference between aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery?

Aesthetic plastic surgery is performed to improve an individual’s appearance. Reconstructive plastic surgery helps improve both the appearance and the functions of the face and body, addressing inherited deformities, traumas or revisions after surgeries, including mastectomy or lumpectomy.

Is aesthetic plastic surgery covered by insurance?

It depends on the procedure and the reason it’s being done—as well as the terms of your health insurance plan. Typically, aesthetic surgery is not covered by insurance. Sometimes, however, a procedure that has an aesthetic benefit may address a functional concern as well, making the surgery medically necessary and therefore covered by insurance. For example, eyelid surgery may be covered when drooping eyelids impede vision. Breast reduction to alleviate back pain may be covered. It’s always best to check with your health care plan and be aware of the cost involved with your aesthetic plastic surgery procedure before going ahead with treatment.

What are the pros and cons of aesthetic plastic surgery?

Any surgery carries risks. However, you can reduce the risks by having surgery performed at an accredited facility such as Yale New Haven Hospital (where many Yale Medicine surgeons practice) and by a board-certified plastic surgeon. The only accredited plastic surgery board in the United States is the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

What distinguishes Yale Medicine?

Our plastic surgeons specialize in particular conditions and surgeries, so they have a tremendous amount of expertise. They develop new surgical techniques. “You want your surgeon to have the surgical experience and depth of knowledge to tackle even the most complicated surgical challenge,” Dr. Alperovich says.