The origins of the Plastic Surgeon
Ever wonder why it’s called “plastic” surgery?
Plastic is a Greek word that means to shape, sculpt or mold. In ancient India, skin grafts were used for reconstruction. At least one ancient Egyptian medical text, dating back to 3000- 2500 BC, mentions plastic surgery.
The Romans were some of the earliest plastic surgeons, repairing the damaged ears of soldiers. Plastic surgery was, in fact, driven by war. A New Zealander developed many plastic surgery techniques in the early 1800s. These same techniques were used during World War One and improvements to procedures were again made during World War II.
The development of anesthesia and antibiotics helped drive today’s modern plastic surgery industry. Plastic surgery is performed for the treatment of burns, cancer (mastectomy reconstruction), disease, disfigurement and to improve appearance. In the United States, over 14 million plastic surgical procedures are performed each year.