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The History of Plastic Surgery

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					                                     The History of Plastic Surgery

People have sought to improve themselves on the inside and out for as long as mankind has existed, and
plastic surgery is one of the means that we have developed to do so in the modern age. People get
plastic surgery to fix birth defects, scars, deformities, burns and various physical marks from accidents.
Other people get plastic surgery to boost their self-confidence and achieve the kind of look they’ve always
dreamed of. Some people also get plastic surgery to augment the signs of aging, which is especially
important in a culture that values youth as well as beauty. And while the procedures we most commonly
associate with plastic surgery are inventions of the modern age, it may surprise you to hear that people
have been giving and receiving plastic surgery for thousands of years.

The earliest known record of a procedure resembling plastic surgery is a written document dating back
approximately 4,000 years that describes a medical treatment for facial injuries. More advanced
techniques can even be traced as far back as 800 BC, when doctors in India were using face grafts to
reconstruct people’s faces and bodies after accidents and injuries. After these early endeavors of ancient
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civilizations, however, developments in plastic surgery remained stagnant until sometime in the 19
century, when scientists and medical doctors starting forging ahead in this field.

The first famous American plastic surgeon to make noteworthy advancements in the field was Dr. John
Peter Mettauer, who performed the first operation to correct a cleft palate in the United States in 1827.
Since the field was still so new, he even had to design his own instruments. After that, plastic surgery
began slowly developing in the Western world, but it wasn’t until World War I that it really started to take
off. With so many soldiers returning with gruesome injuries, the demand for innovations in plastic surgery
was higher than ever.
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Just as brave surgeons were advancing the field of reconstructive surgery in the 19 and 20 centuries,
other creative surgeons were also advancing the possibilities of aesthetic surgical procedures. One
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famous American plastic surgeon, John Orlando Roe, began practicing in the 19 century and made a
huge impact on the medical community and the lives of his patients. He asserted that plastic surgery
could alleviate the self-consciousness and embarrassment that kept people from sharing their talent with
the world, an attitude that many others share today.

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Description: People have sought to improve themselves on the inside and out for as long as mankind has existed, and plastic surgery is one of the means that we have developed to do so in the modern age. People get plastic surgery to fix birth defects, scars, deformities, burns and various physical marks from accidents.