An Overview Of The Ancient Art Of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery
Reconstructive plastic surgery is a truly miraculous art. And, what most people don’t know is that it is an ancient art dating back 4,000 years, when surgical means were utilized for correcting facial injuries, making it the world’s oldest healing art. And, as early as 800 B.C. it is documented that physicians in ancient India were using skin grafts for reconstructive purposes.
If you’ve ever known anyone who came into this world with a birth defect such as a cleft palate or lip or if you or someone you love has had a mastectomy or were in a traumatic accident and were left with facial scars or perhaps with the loss of an eye, you probably have seen the miraculous effects of reconstructive plastic surgery.
Grave War Injuries Inspired Brave New Innovations
While the advances in plastic surgery were originally slow, major advances were made in the 20th Century as a result of World War I, which brought plastic surgery to a new level within the medical field. Necessity is always the Mother of Invention and the casualties of war made reconstructive plastic surgery a necessity. The grave previously unseen injuries to soldiers inspired new innovations in surgical procedures.
The use of war weapons that had never been seen before resulted in extensive facial and head injuries. Some of Europe’s most skilled surgeons dedicated their practices to restoring their countries’ soldiers to wholeness during and after the war. At That time plastic surgery was not able to restore soldiers to their previous appearances but it did allow them to have some semblance of a normal life.
Full Realization Of Plastic Surgery’s Potential Influence
It is no surprise that during this time the surgeons that were helping restore the appearance of the war-torn soldiers, they began to understand the potential influence that one’s personal appearance could exert upon the degree of success experienced in his or her life. Because of this understanding, aesthetic surgery began to take its place as a somewhat more respected aspect of plastic surgery.
It wasn’t until the 1960s and 70s that the modern history of plastic surgery really started to take shape. Plastic surgeons began moving to the forefront of the medical establishment, including one plastic surgeon who was appointed Surgeon General in 1969, and another who won a Nobel Prize.
Around this time silicone was developed and began to grow in popularity as a staple of certain plastic surgery procedures. Initially, it was used to treat skin imperfections. Then, in 1962, Dr. Thomas Cronin created and unveiled a new breast implant device which was made from silicone. Over the next decade or so, silicone implants were developed for use in just about every imaginable part of the face and body.
Plastic surgery continues to grow and provide relief for so many. Whether you are considering plastic surgery out of reconstructive necessity or to give yourself a much-needed boost of self-confidence, know that you are engaging in the most ancient and respected of the healing arts. Our faces are our identities. Being able to face the world with confidence and self-esteem about one’s appearance is the greatest gift.