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The History of Plastic Surgery

Posted April 20, 2015 in Plastic Surgery

Even though many plastic surgeons are always coming up with new techniques and procedures, people have been undergoing body modification procedures for thousands of years. The first known rhinoplasty performed dates back to 600 BC and some experts suggest that plastic surgery was performed in some shape or form as early as 2000 BC in Egypt and India. It’s now a multi-billion dollar industry and demand for body contouring and minimally invasive treatments still stays strong.

Here are some interesting facts about the history of plastic surgery:

Ancient Egyptians Performed Surgery on Dead Bodies

Egyptians would use various surgical techniques to alter dead bodies before the mummification process. This typically involved inserting bones, seeds and bandages into the body. Ramses II’s body was surgically alternated so that his most prominent features would be easily recognized as he moved on to the afterlife. Scholars point out that these modifications were only performed on dead bodies. India is actually considered to be the ‘birthplace’ of plastic surgery.

The Term ‘Plastic Surgery’ Was Coined in the 19th Century

Karl Ferdinand Graefe first coined the term ‘plastic surgery’ to the procedure imported by British surgeons performing something similar to a rhinoplasty procedure. Graefe describes the procedure in his text, Rhinoplastik, published n 1818. Today, rhinoplasty is one of the most commonly performed procedures among men and women.

World War I Changed the Course of Plastic Surgery

Since many WWI soldiers needed advanced care to manage trauma wounds, plastic surgery was in high demand. This prompted many surgeons to offer services privately through their own medical practice and it was until the 1930s that the American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASPS) started to regulate the industry. Since then, plastic surgery has become an option for both reconstructive and cosmetic purposes. Many cosmetic surgery procedures are now performed in a doctor’s office or accredited surgical facility.

Breast Implants Used to Be Made with Beeswax

Breast augmentation is still one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures performed around the United States. Today, women can choose between silicone and saline implants to achieve their ideal look. However, early records of breast implant procedures indicate that implants were once made with beeswax, paraffin, vegetable oil and other materials. Today, many women prefer silicone gel implants because of the natural look and feel. The first documented breast augmentation procedure was performed in Heidelberg in 1895 and involved transplanting tissue from the back to the breasts.

Liposuction is Still Fairly New

It’s one of most popular cosmetic procedures performed in the United States and also one of the newest procedures available to American patients. Liposuction was deemed safe by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in the early 1980s and has since become the ideal solution for patients that want to get rid of body fat permanently. Today, many surgeons use innovative techniques such as Tickle Lipo to address common problem areas

Learn more about plastic surgery procedures by scheduling your consultation at New Look New Life today.