If you are considering plastic surgery to update or change your appearance, you should know about plastic surgery from both an historical and a current point of view.
As an elective surgery, plastic surgery doesn’t often get the objective coverage it should. Proponents crow about the positive effects while critics argue the opposite. Rarely does either group actually quote anything that is indisputable about plastic surgery.
[Related: Plastic Surgery vs. Cosmetic Surgery]
Here’s a brief history and how plastic surgery has grown into the modern procedures we see today.
A Brief History of Plastic Surgery
Plastic surgery has a long history. Plastikos is the base word for plastic surgery, meaning to mold something in Greek.
Susrutha, an Indian surgeon, is the first known plastic surgeon, providing nose reconstruction services in the 8th century BC.
The Romans were also known to perform plastic surgery procedures to alter the appearance of ears.
John P. Mettauer is generally agreed to be the first plastic surgeon in the United States, practicing in the 1820s.
[Related: Popular Cosmetic Surgery Procedures]
A Modern Look at Plastic Surgery
In more modern times, plastic surgery has come on strong as a method for changing appearances or reconstructing the body and face for health reasons. The most common procedures in order of popularity are:
In the last ten years, the number of plastic surgery procedures has quadrupled as the practice has gained greater acceptance as well as more and more publicity in the media.
Changing Demographics of Plastic Surgery
When one thinks about plastic surgery, most assume it is women having their appearances modified. In general, this is true. Roughly 80 percent of all plastic surgery patients are women, but the demographic is starting to change. While 20 percent of patients are now men, the figure is growing. Like women, men seek liposuction, nose reshaping, tummy tucks, and lifts. Male breast reductions are also growing in popularity.
Somewhat controversially, teenagers are also getting plastic surgery in growing numbers. Individuals under 18 most often focus on procedures related to the skin, with skin peels and microdermabrasion procedures accounting for more than half of all procedures.
Historically, plastic surgery was a relatively uncommon procedure. As this overview reveals, media exposure and lower prices mean that is simply no longer the case.