What is Plastic Surgery? A Basic Idea

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Plastic surgery is a surgical process which changes and transforms the human body. It is basically the removal of defects through the reconstruction process which is usually based on different types of surgeries including craniofacial surgery, hand and other surgeries including treatment of disturbing burns and scars due to different accidents. In other words, it is an alteration done to reshape the human body needing improvement in appearance due to burns, cuts wounds or to remove any birth defects.

The word “plastic surgery” does not actually mean any process that requires use of plastic but it’s derived from the ancient Greek word "plastikos" which means to give form or shape or to mold. We can divide plastic surgery into two (02) categories:

  1. Reconstructive surgery
  2. Cosmetic or aesthetic surgery

1. Reconstructive surgery

From the name of the former surgery it is evident that it involves reconstruction of the human body due to any damage caused to it.

2. Cosmetic or aesthetic surgery

Cosmetic or aesthetic surgery deals with alteration of appearance or to enhance beauty.

History of plastic surgery

With the word plastic surgery coming to our minds, we end up thinking about the most common types of surgeries like nose, face, etc. The nose surgery was done in the past as well and is very well mentioned in a transcription of an ancient Egyptian medical text called Edwin Smith Papyrus, which gives a fair idea about these procedures performed in the old kingdom from3000 to 2500 BC.  India remained popular in performing plastic surgeries in 800 BC when a physician named Sushruta made a great contribution to this field. Initially, it was the work of Indians which according to the history was translated to Arabic language in 750 AD during the caliphate period of Abbasids and later on, it was translated to different languages. It is said that Italy also adopted the idea of this procedure from the Indians.

Born in Virginia, Dr. John Peter, an American doctor, was the first ever plastic surgeon who performed a surgery using his self-invented cleft palate tool set in 1827.

The concept or the motivational force which led to the emergence or initiation of plastic surgery was the World War I in early 1900s. The injuries borne by the war soldiers undoubtedly caused a huge impact on their facial features, heads, arms and legs due to the use of deadly and much advanced weapons. This was indeed a great trauma for their families who had to watch their loved ones and those who actually had live with them for the rest of their lives. Plastic surgery improved those scars, wounds and injuries which otherwise had shattered the confidence of those soldiers giving them a new hope to live.

In a nutshell, the much advanced procedure of plastic surgery which is highly popular now a days, dates back to 1400s. Without any doubt it has opened new doors of success and transformed lives by fixing the defects that nobody would ever want to live with.

Key Facts and Statistics about plastic surgery:

  • As per the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the total number of plastic surgery procedures performed in 2017 in the United States was 17.5 million. There was a 2% increase in the figure over the figure in 2016.
  • The total number of breast augmentations performed in the United States in 2017 was 300,378. There was a 3% increase in the figure over the figure in 2016.
  • The total number of liposuctions performed in the United States in 2017, was 246,354. There was a 5% increase in the figure over the figure in 2016.
  • The total number of rhinoplasty or reshaping of nose surgeries performed in the United States in 2017 was 218,924. There was a 2% decrease in the figure from 2016.
  • The total number of blepharoplasty or eyelid surgeries performed in the United States in 2017 was 209,571. The number was more by only 551 than the number in 2016.
  • The total number of abdominoplasty or tummy tucks performed in the United States in 2017 was129,753. There was a 2% increase in the number over the number in 2016.
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