A lot of people believe that plastic surgery is for cosmetic purposes. The very idea of having plastic surgery first came to light when celebrities altered their natural features, to look more appealing or correct what they though Mother Nature erroneously denied them. However, plastic surgery entails more than just beauty. It is a serious medical procedure which involves reconstructive surgery for lost limbs or deformed body parts, treatment of burn victims and even microsurgery.
Firstly Plastic surgery is a term denoting the ability to shape or remould. It was first coined in 1839 as a medical term in surgery. It is predated to the 800 BC when it started in India by a physician named Sushruta who carried out reconstructive surgery. His work was translated to Arabic and later Italians used his techniques. Several centuries later, British medics traveled to India to learn how to perform Houston rhinoplasty, which is the reconstruction of the broken noses. This was using Sushruta’s techniques that were modernized by the western world.
Romans also left their footprint in plastic surgery, albeit the cosmetic type especially in the areas of ears, genitalia and the skeleton.It wasn’t until the First World War that modern forms of plastic surgery development took place. This was through Sir Harold Gillies from New Zealand who treated wounded soldiers. He developed techniques of modern facial surgery for soldiers who had disfigured faces from their surgeries. He worked with a French surgeon Hippolyte Morestin on skin grafting and asked for facilities at the Cambridge Military Hospital to establish a facial injuries ward. This was the pioneering facility for treatment of facial injuries using plastic surgery. Sir Harold later started a private practice with Rasinford Mowlem treating famous patients who referred others to their growing practice. This practice grew as did the one at the military hospital which was treating burns using improved plastic surgery techniques.