Wednesday, June 22, 2011

7 historical facts about plastic surgery

1 – Plastic surgery has been around for a long time.

If you think plastic surgery is a new field in medicine, you are very wrong. Rhinoplasty was first developed in ancient India by a surgeon named Shushruta. 
His surgery is described with great detail in his treatise Shushruta Samhita. (you can find it here ) He developed techniques for reconstructing noses, genitalia, earlobes for people who were amputated as religious, criminal or military punishment.

Another great contributor to medicine was Aulus Cornelius Celsus, who wasn’t a doctor himself but an encyclopedist. Various plastic surgeries such as reconstruction of the lips, ears, and nose were published in his tome De Medicina.  (you can find it here )
Some historians believe that De Medicina’s contents came from the writings of the school of Hippocrates.   The book contains methods of treating fractures and dislocation, dental surgery, etc. He was also an advocate of dissection, but that was prohibited in Greek and Roman religions.
Scar removal was also popular in Rome, especially for the slaves who wanted to get rid of the signs that showed their enslavement.  

2 – The first “boob job” was in 1895

Vincenz Czerny was an Austrian German surgeon. He used the adipose tissue from an lipoma to repair a patient’s asymmetry after tumor removal. He had many contributions in oncological and gynecological surgery and is called the "father of cosmetic breast surgery".  

3 – Silicone was not always popular

Some of the materials used for breast implants will sound weird, but all failed interventions lead to great development in this field. There were experiments with paraffin injections, but despite it’s popularity, it had disastrous results like fistulas, granulomas and even tissue necrosis. Other disturbing materials and substances used for breast implants were ivory, glass balls, ground rubber, ox cartilage, polyethylene chips, silastic rubber, etc. Some of the other substances used after the Second World War were: petroleum jelly, beeswak, epoxy resin, etc. The results were terrible: women lost their breasts and some even lost their life. 
Fortunately, breast enhancement techniques have minimal risks nowadays.

4 – In the Middle Ages some plastic surgeries were performed in barber shops

Barbers were very useful in the Middle Ages, especially because surgery was seen as pagan and it was wrong to alter the human body. However, costumers were able to come in barber shops for amputations, settle broken bones, cosmetic dentistry, etc. They were very useful during wars as there were not many physicians available. 

5- Botox was used (and still is) for therapeutic purposes

At first, the botulinum toxin was not used for cosmetic purposes; actually, it turned out to be very effective in “uncontrollable blinking” (blepharospasm) and strabismus. Then, new medical procedures used botulinum toxin to treat excess sweating, muscle spasms, cervical dystonia and chronic migraine. It started being used as a cosmetic enhancer after two ophtalmologists published a study after noticing their patients had an improvement in glabellar lines (the lines between the eyebrows). 

6- Blepharoplasty was done 3000 years ago  

Blepharoplasty is the surgical modification of the eyelid. Although the term was coined in 19 century, this practice was used throughout Egypt and Rome. There are papyruses that give detailed explications on reconstruction surgery. Also, Aulus Cornelius Celsus describes how to make an incision in the skin to relax the eyelids.

7 – The first advanced skin graft procedure was in 1917  

 The first advanced skin graft taken from an unwounded part of the body was performed by Sir Harold Gillies in 1917 on Walter Yeo, a british solider. He lost his upper and lower lids in war. You can find photograph before and after the procedure here. 


  1. Great information your share and make sure many of women would change their makeover. So this is the way and from Plastic Surgeon Los Angeles to change his life.

  2. Informative facts to knowing about plastic surgery. It is a special type of surgery that can involve both a person's appearance and ability to function. It can either transform you into your normal look or can enhance your beauty. Thanks a lot...

  3. Surprised? Well, that only shows that the willingness of people to be young never stops. Even in the ancient times, they realized the importance of looking fresh and young! It may be funny and weird, but you will be amazed that you're not the first one to want good looks. :)

  4. excellent article! I really enjoyed reading it! Blepharoplasty is also a very effective procedure for wrinkle removal. A blepharoplasty Toronto treatment can help you eliminate all those unwanted wrinkles. It will surely make you look more attractive and more beautiful!

  5. A lipoma is a harmless lump of fat. There are several different types, mainly classified by where they appear. The most common location is just beneath the skin, where they are easily felt, but they can occur anywhere.


  6. A lipoma is a common, benign tumor composed of fatty tissue. Lipomas are soft to the touch, sometimes moveable, and are generally painless. They grow very slowly, and have not been found to become cancerous (malignant liposarcoma, however, also arises from fatty tissue). Many lipomas are small but can enlarge to sizes greater than six centimeters.
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