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10 incredible facts about plastic surgery

When it comes to plastic surgery, many immediately imagine expensive surgeries that are resorted to by the famous and rich in order to preserve beauty. There is some truth in this, because the most common operations performed today in this area are nose correction and breast augmentation. But it is worth noting that plastic surgeons were real innovators and the development of this industry went far beyond aesthetics.
1. The name has nothing to do with the plastic

The origins of plastic surgery methods go back to the 16th century, when the Italian doctor Gaspare Tagliacozzi, copying the methods described in the Indian manual about 1000 years ago, successfully restored a damaged patient’s nose using tissue taken from the inside of the patient’s forearm.

The term “plastic” was first used to describe these methods in 1837-18 years before the invention of plastic and plastics. The term comes from the Greek word “Plastikos” (stucco, sculptural). Specialists in this industry were initially much more focused on reconstructing deformed or damaged body parts than on their cosmetic correction.

By the mid-19th century, advances in anesthesia and sterilization had made bolder procedures possible. However, during all this time, plastic surgery was not officially recognized as a branch of medicine, despite its obvious potential.

2. Anthology of breast augmentation

The first successful breast augmentation was also reconstructive rather than cosmetic surgery, as the patient had a large tumor and part of her left breast was removed. German surgeon Vincenz Czerny used a large lipoma, a fat benign tumor from the patient’s back, to repair the breast. This happened in 1895, and surgeons spent the next 70 years trying to come up with material for commercially profitable breast implants.

Paraffin, alcohol-soaked sponge, and beeswax were all used. It wasn’t until the early 1960s that Houston-based surgeon Frank Girou first tried a silicone implant.

3. How it all started

While the aforementioned advances in anesthesia and antiseptics allowed plastic surgeons to perform complex procedures as early as the early 1900s, the industry only flourished during the First world war. Because of new types of explosives and weapons, thousands of soldiers were returning home with injuries they had literally never seen before.

It was at this time that plastic surgery began to develop rapidly, largely thanks to the London doctor (new Zealander by origin) Harold Gillis, who is now considered the father of modern plastic surgery. Detailed records of more than 11,000 procedures performed by more than 3,000 soldiers over eight years between 1917 and 1925 were recently discovered, including pioneering skin and muscle grafts that had never been performed before. Since there were no antibiotics available at that time, each operation was associated with a serious risk of infection.

4. Plastic surgeon and car safety

The debate about car safety has been going on literally since their appearance. In 1935, Readers ‘ Digest published a publication called “Sudden death”. The author is Joseph C. Furnas mainly wanted to shame careless drivers. However, based on this article, Detroit plastic surgeon Claire Streit sent specific recommendations to Chrysler in 1937 on how to improve safety: use rubber buttons instead of steel, rounded door handles, and so on.

5. Plastic surgery and organ transplantation

Although most people believe that transplant procedures are not directly related to plastic surgery, they use many of the same methods, such as nerve and tissue reconstruction and replantation. The first successful organ transplant (kidney transplant) was performed by renowned plastic surgeon Joseph E. Murray in 1954. At that time, Murray was already widely known for successfully treating patients who suffered from burns and had various facial deformities.

Dr. Murray later became known throughout the world and it was he who helped develop the first generation of immunosuppressants in the 1960s. In 1990, he was awarded the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine for his pioneering work.

6. the first successful hand transplant is a credit to the plastic surgeon

Dr. Warren Breidenbach, head of the Department of reconstructive and plastic surgery at Arizona state University, is considered the world’s greatest authority on hand transplantation. In 1999, he became the first surgeon to successfully perform such an operation.

The patient, Matthew Scott, had lost an arm in an accident 14 years earlier, and they had sewn on the dead man’s arm, and he had learned how to use it. Previous attempts (the first of them dates back to 1964, when immunosuppressants were in their infancy) resulted in the patient’s immune system rejecting the donor hand. Since 1999, Warren Breidenbach has already performed 85 such operations.

7. ‘Medical tourism’ and plastic surgery

Many people often go for expensive procedures, including plastic surgery, in countries where the cost of healthcare is more regulated by the state. For example, in countries such as Mexico and Brazil, so-called “medical tourism” is no longer something new. Recently, Dubai and Thailand are also gaining popularity in this regard. In 2013 alone, Thailand earned a whopping $ 4.3 billion thanks to foreigners seeking medical care.

8. Lifting, does not require surgical intervention

New York-based plastic surgeon Doug Steinbrech offers facelift operations without direct surgery. This is achieved thanks to a special device that slowly stretches the skin for three hours (naturally , this is done under anesthesia).

Although stitches are still needed in the end, the treatment lasts only 5 days and costs only $ 35,000. Another doctor from new York, Doris day, also demonstrated non-surgical methods that use ultrasound instead of traditional liposuction.

9. Men’s plastic surgery

Most people tend to think of surgery for cosmetic purposes as a purely feminine “hobby”. But recently, data shows that from 1997 to 2014, the number of men who use cosmetic procedures increased by as much as 273 percent.

10. Face transplant

In 2012, Baltimore-based plastic surgeon Eduardo Rodriguez performed the most extensive face transplant in history. His patient was Richard Norris, who attempted suicide in 1997 by shooting himself in the face with a shotgun. He had to do almost a complete face transplant. Although the result was a bit strange, compared to what it was, it is a phenomenal achievement. Rodriguez has since repeated his achievement once again when, in 2015, he made a new face for firefighter Patrick Hardison, whose face was completely destroyed in a fire.


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