Plastic surgery refers to a number of procedures that are used to restore, renew or enhance different parts of the body. Within plastic surgery, there are two categories, the first being reconstructive and the second being cosmetic. Cosmetic procedures are typically non-essential and used primarily for improving aesthetics. Reconstructive surgery refers to procedures that repair…
History of Plastic Surgery
You might think that plastic surgery is a relatively new phenomenon. Yet, it has been around for centuries. Over 4,000 years ago, people used crude plastic surgery techniques to treat facial injuries. Then, in 800 B.C., physicians in India provided skin grafts for patients. Procedures can be traced back to ancient times. However, plastic surgery did not experience any significant advancements until the late 1800s.
History of plastic surgery in Europe and America
In early history, surgical practices were often primitive. That included plastic surgery. Surgeons began offering cosmetic surgery in America and Europe. They took a more scientific and medically acceptable approach. Find out who led the way and how the war helped plastic surgery grow into a practice that is thriving today.
The first cleft palette operation
Dr. John Peter Mettauer was the most prominent plastic surgeon in his time. In 1827, he became the first surgeon to perform a cleft palate operation in America. He even designed the instruments he used for the surgery. Throughout his career, he was admired for his ability to develop surgical practices. His innovations helped plastic surgery become a respected discipline.
World War I and plastic surgery
By World War I, physicians had access to anesthesia. They also understood how to treat infections. People survived injuries that would have killed them in the past, but they suffered from another problem. Many had disfiguring injuries that made it impossible to complete basic tasks, such as eating. Plastic surgery was becoming more prominent in Europe and the United States at this time. Some surgeons made it their personal mission to help the soldiers who suffered from these injuries.
Dr. Harold Gillies, an ear, nose and throat specialist, was one such surgeon. After spending time serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps, he went back to England. He then worked at the Cambridge Medical Hospital and the Queen’s Hospital. He created new plastic surgery techniques to reconstruct major facial injuries. His work made a difference in countless people’s lives.
Varaztad Kazanjian also played a significant role during the war. He was working as a dentist in the United States when the war broke out. Kazanjian enlisted in the British military and started a maxillofacial clinic. He came back to the United States after the war and practiced plastic surgery on the home front. Kazanjian was Harvard Medical School’s first professor of plastic surgery. He is often called the founding father of modern plastic surgery.
Take advantage of the advancements in plastic surgery
Plastic surgery has evolved over the years. From humble beginnings in the ancient world to the works of John Peter Mettauer, Harold Gillies and Varaztad Kazanjian, people have seen this field grow. It is even more advanced today. Now, people can get noninvasive and minimally invasive treatments that have much lower risks. If you are interested in a procedure, contact your plastic surgeon for a consultation.
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