Monday, December 16, 2013

A Brief History of Plastic Surgery

Beautification has long been a big deal for people. These days, it can (at least partly) be accomplished by undergoing plastic surgery. The procedure may be considered one of the oldest arts of healing in the world. In fact, evidence has revealed that medical treatments used for facial injuries date back to more than 4,000 years ago.

However, it wasn't after hundreds of years– into the 19th and 20th century, that plastic surgery was established in the US and Europe. Dr. John Peter Mettauer, the first American plastic surgeon, performed the first ever cleft palate operation in 1827 with instruments that he designed.

During the late 1800s to early 1900s, one of the reasons that plastic surgery developed was because of the wars that left most people with severe injuries such as broken jaws and severely-damaged noses and lips. Most of the best plastic surgeons during this time were in Europe. However, American surgeons like Varaztad Kazanjian of Boston and Vilray Blair of St. Louis were also famous for serving their countrymen through this field.

During this period, plastic surgery developed because physicians realized, quoting the words of John Orlando Roe, 19th century American plastic surgeon, “How much valuable talent (had) been...buried from human eyes, lost to the world and society by reason of embarrassment...caused by the conscious, or in some cases, unconscious influence of some physical infirmity or deformity or unsightly blemish."


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