An Ugly Trend
Plastic surgery is defined as repair, restoration, or improvement of lost, injured or defective body parts. It can also be used as a synonym for “fake” or “superficial.” Although the meaning of plastic surgery fluctuates between different people, the origin of the word “plastic” comes from the Greek “plastikos,” meaning "able to be molded.” Throughout history, society values beauty. Individual’s pursuit in self-fulfillment through plastic surgery and restoration is one of the oldest healing arts. Researchers have found evidence that medical treatment for facial injuries were conducted more than 4,000 years ago. Physicians in ancient India utilized skin grafts for reconstructive work as early as 800 B.C. (American Society of Plastic Surgeons) Detrimental injuries from World War 1 caused plastic surgery to increasingly develop in the early 1900’s. Victims in the war searched for restorative procedures. During this time, society used plastic surgery as a way to treat extensive facial and head injuries, shattered jaws, blown-off noses, lips, and skull wounds caused by modern weapons.
Around 1960, plastic surgery increased in prominence in the perspective of the American public; procedures performed by surgeons increased due to many reasons. The main reason: the improvements in scientific developments. A new discovery, silicone, appeared as a useful tool for plastic surgeons. Silicone, initially used to treat skin imperfections, adapted to other uses when Thomas Cronin, MD, of Houston, utilized it in a breast implant device in 1962. (American Society of Plastic Surgeons) During the 1970’s plastic surgeons used plastic surgery to enhance all parts of the human body. Plastic surgeon, Joseph Murray, MD, of Boston, performed the first successful kidney transplant, an achievement that earned him the Nobel Prize. After society heard about this miracle, plastic surgery suddenly appealed to many more individuals. During the 1980’s, plastic surgery expanded its efforts to bring knowledge and information to the public. Patients pleaded for additional information to bring home and evaluate. After many interested patients asked for further information, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) began producing a variety of brochures on the specialty and individual plastic surgery procedures. (ASPS) Throughout the 1990’s, high controversial debates arose on the plastic surgery topic. In 1995 a “plastic surgeons online” web service became available for people to post questions about different surgeries and receive responses from many people across the world. In 1996, the ASPS initiated its first public website, www.plasticsurgery.org, at the beginning of the new internet era. The ASPS offered the largest library of plastic surgery procedural information on the internet; it even included an online referral service. Despite the contributions and plastic surgeons efforts, worldwide communities began to not recognize the broad spectrum of work plastic surgeons performed. American people became completely unaware of plastic surgeons reconstructive work, instead they equated "plastic surgeon" with "cosmetic surgeon." In 1994, ASPS President Elvin G. Zook altered the perception of plastic surgery. He promoted changing the name of the Society from American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (ASPRS) to American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) in an effort to convince people that plastic surgeons and reconstructive surgeons obtained the same role, not two different types of surgeons, like the old name of the society implied.(ASPS) In 1999, the society officially became the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the term “reconstructive” eventually disappeared. Initially society specifically used plastic surgery to reconstruct damaged features, but the motives for plastics surgery changed. The popularity and acceptance of plastic surgery steadily increased over the past 70 years. According...
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