- The ‘plastic’ in plastic surgery comes from the Greek word ‘plastikos.’ Plastikos means to mould, shape, or give form to something. This meaning of the word plastic actually came 18 years before the invention of plastic as a substance.
- Plastic surgery has been around for a lot longer than most people think, with the earliest documented plastic surgery procedure dating back to the 1600’s. However, the Italian physician – who managed to successfully reconstruct a damaged nose using tissue in the patients’ inner arm – was actually copying techniques from an Indian manual which was written about 1,000 years before that.
- A large amount of new innovations and development in plastic surgery occurred during WW1. Because such a large number of people were badly injured during the war due to the surge in new categories of explosives and weapons on the battlefield, surgeons were forced to improvise, this allowed them to break through with new techniques and ideas. The recently uncovered were deemed ground-breaking, as they detailed over 11,000 procedures performed on upwards of 3,000 soldiers in the 8 years between 1917 and 1925. These included revolutionary procedures such as skin and muscle grafting techniques that had never been attempted before.
- In 1954 the first successful organ transplant was performed by plastic surgeon Joseph E. Murray. Plastic surgery and transplant procedures require many of the same small-scale techniques, such as reconstruction and reattachment of nerves, tissue, and potential rejection of it.
- ‘Medical tourism’ for plastic surgery is on the rise. Due to a lot of cosmetic procedures being extremely costly in the west, people are seeking it elsewhere. Thailand and Dubai offer the same procedures as over here – with cutting-edge technology and internationally trained doctors, you wouldn’t even be able to tell you’re in a hospital due to the luxury of the treatment rooms. All this at a fraction of the price that you would get here. In 2013, for example, Thailand made $4.3 billion dollars on ‘medical tourism’ alone.
You don’t need to travel halfway around the world for this treatment though, there are plenty of plastic surgeons in Glasgow, and all over the UK.
- With technology and knowledge increasing, procedures are becoming more complex. In 2012, a man received the most extensive full face transplant ever. And although 3 deaths have occurred during this procedure there has been successful full or partial face transplants performed on 30 people since mind 2016.
- Plastic surgery wasn’t always used for the same reasons as it is nowadays, in ancient Rome plastic surgery was used to remove scars. Scars on your back in Ancient Roman times were seen as shameful as it depicted a man who turned his back in battle. These scars would be removed using ancient plastic surgery techniques – and no pain relief.