History of Cosmetic Surgery

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History of Cosmetic/Plastic Surgery


Plastic surgery is a medical specialty dealing with on the correction or restoring of external damage to the body. The word plastic comes from the Greek plastikos meaning to mold or to shape (Answers, 2010). Cosmetic surgery involves techniques to enhance the appearance through surgical and medical techniques. I will also investigate the most popular surgery procedures of the last couple years. Do you wonder how this type of surgery went from treating war wounds, burn victims, and children born with defects to breast enhancements and face-lifts? We will explore how Plastic surgery began and how it progressed through the centuries, to what we all know it as Cosmetic surgery. This essay will explore the changing history of plastic and cosmetic surgery as it continues to be written (Answers, 2010). The beginning of cosmetic surgery goes way back to India during the eighth century BC. The respected surgeon Susrutha was one of the first pioneers who learned how to apply skin grafting techniques and published the Sushruta Samhita, this publication detailed procedures similar to rhinoplasty (Lets look beautiful, 2010). ”This is among the oldest known manuscript for the science of medicine. The Kangra district is Himachal Pradesh was most famous for its plastic surgeons. Some scholars are of the opinion that the word “Kangada” means ear repair. A British Archaeologist Sir Alexander Cunningham had written about Kangra plastic surgeons procedures” (History of Cosmetic surgery 6-21-09). Seven hundred years later cosmetic surgery began in the Roman Empire, the Roman surgeons performed less elaborate operations such as repairing damage to people’s ears. Europe has evidence of cosmetic surgery, during fifteenth century. Dr. Heinrich von Pfolspeundt, was one of the first doctors practicing medical procedures beyond the crude conditions that had existed during the late medieval and early Renaissance period this lead in to the Middle Ages. During this time quite a few German physicians mainly from Strasbourg, helped to advance the study plastic surgery. He has also documented an operation, to replace completely a patient’s nose that was severely damaged by removing skin from the back of an arm and suturing it into place a new nose could be created. This surgery at that time was considered high risk due to the lack of knowledge and hazards working in the facial area at that time (Tidwell, 2005). Gasparo Tagliacozzi, a professor of surgery and the anatomy at the University of Bologna, here is where plastic surgery achieved worldwide fame in Europe. “His book De curtorum chirurgia per insitionem The Surgery of Defects by Implantation” (History of Cosmetic surgery 6-21-09). “Tagliacozzi’s has described different plastic surgery procedures and the church dignitaries of that time regarded cosmetic surgery as interference in the affairs of the Lord almighty” (History of Cosmetic surgery 6-21-09). ”After Tagliacozzi’s, death they excommunicated him and had his body exhumed from the churches cemetery and had it moved to an unconsecrated ground” (History of Cosmetic surgery 6-21-09). Once the technique of anesthesia became established in the early 1900s, all surgery would be a large amount of pain. Infection from surgery would be reduced by the starting to use sterile instruments, techniques, and disinfectants. After antibiotics were invented and the infections were not so common. Also with the use of sulfa drugs and penicillin, this made elective surgery possible. America’s first mentions plastic surgery in the early nineteenth century were Dr. John Peter Mettauer performed the first documented cleft palate operation, using surgical instruments he created to his personal specifications (Lets look beautiful, 2010). As time advances a doctor from New Zealand Sir Harold Gillies is considered a visionary with in his field. He also was revered as the father of modern...
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