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Ancient History of Plastic Surgery
The history of cosmetic plastic surgery can be traced back to the 8 th Century BC. Physicians in India during that time were known to be performing reconstructive surgeries. The surgeon Sursrutha is especially creditted for his reconstructive work of amputed noses (caused as a result of punishment) using skin grafts from a portion of the forehead.
The Romans were able to perform simple techniques such as repairing damaged ears from around the 1st century BC.
History of Plastic Surgery in Europe
The history of plastic surgery moved very slowly for thousands of years, especially in European medicine.
In mid-15th century Europe, Heinrich von Pfolspeundt described a process of making noses by removing skin from the back of the arm and suturing it in place. However, because of the dangers associated with surgery in any form, especially that involving the head or face, it was not until the 19th and 20th centuries that such surgeries became commonplace.
Dr. John Peter Mettauer has been marked in history as the first U S surgeon to have performed the first plastic sugery in 1827. Using instruments that he designed himself the surgeon is distiguished for the first cleft palate operation performed anywhere in the world.
The gross deformities and severe wounds sustained in World War I gave impetus to new techniques in surgery – use of tissues and of artificial material such as silicone for grafting.
Modern History of Plastic Surgery
Reconstructive plastic surgery emerged as new branch of plastic surgery when surgeries had been performed for repairing congenital or acquired deformities and the restoration of contour to improve the appearance and function of tissue defects.
Skin grafts and skin enhancement surgeries for burns and skin cancers and breast reconstruction after removal of breast cysts and cancers were now becoming commonplace.
Cosmetic surgery as the new branch emerged when plastic surgeries were performed for purely cosmetic purposes, such as improving the shape of a nose, bringing outstanding ears closer to the head, or lifting the skin to erase wrinkles.
Contribution of Plastic Surgeons
In 1921, the American Association of Plastic Surgeons (AAPS) was formed which worked towards the promotion of plastic surgery facts
The American Society of Plastic and Surgeons (ASPS) - known until 1999 as the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (ASPRS) -- developed mainly through the sweat and toil of immigrants. In this case, it was two surgeons from Europe who came to the United States after World War I, Jacques Maliniac and Gustave Aufricht played an important role in the history of plastic surgery.
This institution has worked for the recognition of the progress and history of plastic surgery by the American Board of Surgeons. With the concern for credibility and 'true' application, ASPRS members created the first qualifying exam in the history of plastic surgery in the US. Now known as the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, it is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons (Certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada). With more than 6,000 members, the society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) is an organization devoted exclusively to advancing the science and art of cosmetic plastic surgery.
The modern, and more well-known, history of plastic surgery begins in the 1960s and 70s. The past few decades have seen enormous advancements in treatments, techniques and awareness among the public.
Plastic surgeons have contributed to the history of plastic surgery in a number of areas, and ways. As the members of institutions mentioned above they are working towards promoting the future and history of plastic surgery.
Modern plastic surgeons now more often employ CAT scans to produce computer-generated images and make an extensive use of them to plan or simulate complex reconstructive surgeries
As the history of plastic surgery continues to be written, the ways to improve form and function will continue to expand.