History of Plastic Surgery

Plastic Surgery – History Explained

Plastic surgery has come a far way since its inception, but what was plastic surgery before modern medicine? The term plastic surgery comes from the adjective plastic which denotes sculpting. The origins of plastic comes from the greek word plastikē, which means “the art of modeling”.

Believe it or not, the first plastic surgeries were performed by the ancient Egyptians and Romans. Romans performed only simple surgeries at the time, such as repairing damaged ears. Reconstructive surgeries were also being carried out in India around 800 B.C. British physicians would travel there and study rhinoplasties (nose jobs).

The first person to benefit from a plastic surgery procedure was performed on British Sailor Walter Yeo. Walter suffered major facial injuries on May 31st 1916. In addition to major facial injuries, he lost both of his eyelids. He was subsequently admitted to the Plymouth Hospital while waiting for a spot at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup, Kent. Once he was admitted there, he was treated by Sir Harold Gillies. Sir Harold Gillies performed a procedure which was known as a ‘tubed pedicle’ flap, otherwise known as a form of skin transplantation. After this procedure, Walter was found to be fit for active service.

Today cosmetic surgery has come a long way and there are many different types of surgeries’ that can be performed, ranging from reconstructive to cosmetic.

Reconstructive surgery is mainly performed to improve function, however sometimes is performed to approximate a normal appearance. Individuals who have had these procedures performed once suffered functional impairments caused by: burns, traumatic injuries, fractures, congenital abnormalities (cleft lip), infections, diseases, and cancers or tumors.

Cosmetic surgeries are performed to enhance the appearance. It was found in 2006 that over 11 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the US alone. In 2007 12 million procedures were performed, and that number continues to grow.

Some of the more prevalent cosmetic procedures are listed below:

Cosmetic surgery in Houston is a relatively large business. In Europe, the second largest market for cosmetic products, Cosmetic surgery is $2.2 billion business. You can imagine what that means for the United States and other countries.

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