Understanding Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is the branch of medicine concerned with the reconstruction and repair of defects in the body. Reconstruction plastic surgery repair disorder or disability caused by injury, disease, or birth defects.

It seeks not only to make a person look normal, but function better too. Cosmetic plastic surgery performed solely for the purpose of improving the appearance of the body.

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origin of name

Many people have the mistaken belief that plastic surgery got its name because it involves the use of some kind of plastic or other manmade materials. In fact, the term plastic surgery comes from the Greek word “plastikos,” which means to form or shape. The use of the word was first published by a German surgeon Karl Ferdinand von Graefe (1787-1840), one of the pioneers of plastic surgery. Von Graefe operated on cleft palate (a birth defect in the roof of the mouth) and satisfying eye and developed the first procedure to repair the nose, called rhinoplasty (pronounced RYE-no-pla-stee), which is described in his 1818 book Rhinoplastik.

However, von Graefe no means the first or beginning of the operation. In fact, many believe that plastic surgery is one of the oldest forms of surgery. Some say that the beginning of the operation is known of this type dates back to Peru from about 10,000 BC, which do craniotomies (pronounced kray-nee-AH-toh Meez) or surgery on the skull with burning a hole in someone’s head. Many of these patients healed skull was found, indicating that they survived the operation.

ancient operations

Reconstructive plastic surgery is less old, although there is evidence that surgeons in ancient India used skin grafts written as early as 3300 BC to fix the nose and ears were lost in battle or certain forms of punishment.

Roman medical writer Aulus Cornelius Celsus, which is known to have lived during the reign of Tiberius (AD 14-37), mention facial reconstructive surgery in his De re medicina. It is well known that during the Chin dynasty (229-317 AD), Chinese surgeons surgically repaired cleft lip.

Things to Know

Cosmetic plastic surgery: Surgery is designed primarily to enhance or improve the appearance of an individual who may have no gross abnormalities or physical disorder.

Graft: Bone, skin, or other tissue taken from one place on the body (or from another agency) and then moved to another place in the body where it started to grow again.

Reconstructive plastic surgery: Surgery is designed to restore normal appearance and function of the defective area or disorders of the human body.

While surgical techniques developed slowly over the centuries until the Renaissance (the period of artistic activities and a strong intellectual that began in Italy in the fourteenth century and soon spread throughout Europe, which lasted until the seventeenth century), text books first on plastic surgery written by the Italian surgeon Gasparo Tagliacozzi (1546-1599).

De curatorum chirurgia book contained illustrations and words on how to surgically repair or fix the nose.

One famous picture in the book shows how he placed the patient in this kind of straight jacket in which the one hand they are placed in the back of their heads with their noses touching their shoulders or biceps. In this way he uses the patient’s own skin (in the arm) to graft new skin for the nose repaired.

progress of the war

Surgical techniques continue to evolve very slowly, but in 1775, the American surgeon John Jones (1729-1791) published a book first surgeon in the American colonies, Plain, Concise, Practical Information on Treatment of Wounds and fractures.

This book introduces techniques for plastic surgery and became the bible of the American colonies military surgeon when the Revolutionary War (1775-1781) broke out. However, the first American plastic surgeon considered Virginia surgeon John Peter Mettauer (1787-1875).

At the time Mettauer has made his first cleft palate operation in 1827, progress is also being made in Europe as a surgeon in Italy and Germany do a skin graft experiments on animals.

In the United States, the battle of the Civil War (1861-1865) resulted in a large number of injured and disabled soldiers, and many surgical techniques are found or developed out of necessity.

Finally, it took another war, World War I (1914-1918), to generate the father of modern plastic surgery, the surgeon England Harold Delf Gillies (1882-1960). Since the war was conducted mainly in the trenches, there is a large amount of head and facial injuries (because the rest of the body of a soldier usually below ground and therefore protected).

Gillies founded the first hospital devoted to reconstructive surgery, and in 1917, he introduced the pedicle (pronounced PED-ih-kul) type of skin grafts that use the patient’s own skin and the underlying tissue to maintain a fixed site. Many inventions and techniques formed the basis of modern plastic surgery.

By World War II (1939-1945), many of the armed forces have a plastic surgeon as part of their medical team, and after the war, micro engineering has advanced to the point where people are becoming aware of cosmetic surgery as a way to improve their appearance.

Reconstructive plastic surgery

Today, plastic surgery has two components: reconstructive plastic surgery and cosmetic plastic surgery. Reconstructive surgery is not just what it sounds like, because reconstruct, repair or reshape abnormal structures of the body.

In other words, the goal is to improve things or to restore the function (and appearance) of the body parts that may have been injured, ill, or suffering from birth defects. Severe laceration repair (in cuts) and a compound fracture typical procedure, such as tissue graft to repair severe burns.

Remove cancerous skin growth and rebuild missing or defective parts, such as ears or nose, is another example of reconstructive plastic surgery.

The goal is always to restore the function of damaged to restore normal shape. This is a type of surgery to try to reattach severed fingers and limbs and to repair the damage done by traumatic injury or disease.

Cosmetic plastic surgery

Cosmetic plastic surgery is another type of plastic surgery. Also called aesthetic plastic surgery, it is different from reconstructive plastic surgery in that it is an operation performed on abnormal structures of the body. In other words, it is an operation performed solely for the purpose of improving the appearance of a healthy person.

Examples of these operations would be a “nose job,” “face lift,” breast augmentation, and fat suctioning procedure. This type of surgery is called “elective” because it was not necessary from a medical point. Instead, it is done to improve the image of a person to fix something that people find the object of his body.

So, while some choose to have big ears they put closer to their heads, others may choose to have drooping skin around their eyes tensed or wrinkles on their faces removed. Hair transplants and facial chemical peel is also considered cosmetic plastic surgery.


Whether reconstruction or cosmetic, plastic surgery is almost always about tissue transplants. However, this is not the operation that “transplant” donor organs such as the kidneys work to be someone who had lost them, but otherwise is healthy tissue transplants from one part of the body to replace damaged tissue removed from another part.

These networks can become bone, skin, muscle, cartilage, tendon, or even nerves. So that the surgeon can take cartilage from the patient’s ribs and “build” the ear or nose repair.

Baseball pitcher throwing sometimes continue their careers after cartilage taken from the non-throwing arm they are surgically transplanted into their injured throwing elbow.

Skin grafts are used to cover the burned area is another common form of transplantation. A new version is called a xenograft (pronounced ZEE-no-graft), in which the skin from the donor used temporarily and grafted onto the burned area that still has living cells.

Although ultimately rejected, grafted skin often protects the damaged tissue for a long time, and gives the body time to heal itself. Shape even newer than artificial or synthetic leather is being developed that will do the same.

latest progress

Another important part of all plastic surgery, whether reconstruction or cosmetic, is cutting carefully planned and skin in the following places or fall in the natural line of skin or folds. At the end of the operation, the same way planned and carefully tailoring (pronounced SOO-churing) or sew the wound closed is required.

Today, plastic surgeons sometimes use a laser instead of a scalpel, and often perform all operations in such a fine level of detail that they use a microscope all the time. They can replace the smallest of blood vessels using this technology.

Even before they operate, they have access to diagnostic technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography that allow them to analyze and understand the problem better, and to plan how to fix it.

Despite the increasing popularity of cosmetic plastic surgery (no longer a luxury only for the rich), reconstructive plastic surgery was done three times more often.

Corrective eye surgery or blepharoplasty (pronounced bleh-fer-oh-plas-tee) -where the bags under the eyes or on the skin of the upper eyelid is issued to give someone who is younger, less tired look-is the most common type of cosmetic surgery , Hair transplants and eye surgery is the most popular procedure with men.

Many adult women choose breast enlargement, is now done with saline or salt water implants silicone implants proved not-harmful. Teens most often received nose reshaping.