Is Botox Considered Plastic Surgery?

Often patients who value the rejuvenation properties of Botox injections are also ready for surgery to achieve the maximum result. This leads many people to believe these procedures are the same, or at least quite similar. But is it so? And if not, where does this injectable belong?

Today, we’ll find out whether this treatment falls under the definition of plastic surgery or not. But before delving more into exploration, it’s important to get familiar with the injectable itself and to know how to distinguish cosmetic surgery from plastic surgery.

What Is Botox?

Botox is an injectable solution based on botulinum toxin type A. Once in the inner layers of the skin, this substance temporarily paralyzes muscles and reduces mimic wrinkles and fine lines in people. It is used by people who wish to achieve instant and long-lasting results to stay younger-looking for as long as possible.

This treatment is time-tested and was approved by the FDA in 1989. Though there are alternatives to it on the market, botulinum shots are still the leader among other non-invasive beauty procedures.

Is Botox a Dermal Filler?

Even though both Botox and injectable fillers are minimally invasive and similar procedures, they are not the same. Facial and lip fillers don’t affect muscles. Instead, the injection delivers amino acids, nutrients, minerals, and vitamins into the dermis, stimulating tissues to produce more collagen.

Plastic Surgery vs Cosmetic Surgery and Treatments

While plastic surgery is primarily aimed at fixing, cosmetic surgery is all about enhancing. For example, if a person breaks facial bones in a car accident, a plastic surgeon makes everything to heal them. However, if someone wants to prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging, smooth the jawline, improve the shape of the face, undergo breast augmentation or nose reshaping, this is when a cosmetic surgeon will help.

To be allowed to perform cosmetic surgery procedures, it’s obligatory for board-certified plastic surgeons to undergo additional residency training to get wider knowledge about the popular procedures for rejuvenation. Only then they can be called cosmetic surgeons.

Is Botox a Form of Plastic Surgery?

When someone says “plastic surgery”, they don’t necessarily mean reconstructive procedures, as the term is often being misused. Somehow, it’s hard for people to distinguish it from cosmetic surgery. And, as we’ve just learned, they have quite a lot of differences.

The most common cosmetic procedures are often made together. But due to the majority of people believing that cosmetic surgery equals plastic one, the belief that Botox is a form of plastic surgery is widely distributed in society.

However, things are a bit more complicated and require the professionals to say the final word. So let’s hear them out.

What Do Surgeons Think About It?

As specified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, as well as by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ASPS), cosmetic procedures don’t belong to reconstructive (plastic) surgery. Professionals use injectables to improve a patient’s appearance, which makes Botox a cosmetic treatment.

As we now know Botox is included under cosmetic treatments, it’s time to point out how exactly does it differ from reconstructive procedures.

How Is Botox Different from Plastic Surgery?

Botox is not reconstructive surgery but a rather cosmetic procedure. There are several reasons for it:

  • It’s non-invasive, unlike other surgical procedures;
  • It improves the appearance;
  • You don’t need a special reason to inject;
  • A board-certified plastic surgeon won’t perform the procedure without proper training;
  • Health insurance won’t cover the procedure’s cost.


After learning about the two types of surgeries, it’s obvious that Botox is no other than a cosmetic treatment. This means that the shots won’t require a prescription from a physician, even though it’s desirable to consult an experienced doctor before opting for the treatment.

In other words, if the procedure is aimed at enhancing the appearance, it’s cosmetic. If the purpose is to fix the damage, it’s plastic.

It’s also necessary to note that cosmetic surgeries and treatments must be done by a board-certified cosmetic surgeon who underwent fellowship training. Botulinum toxin injections are not covered by insurance, so choosing a reputable clinic and a skilled provider has a high priority.

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