Plastic Surgery Through the Ages

While there have been a variety of forms of surgery, spanning hundreds of years, plastic surgery is a relatively new procedure. The ability to undergo an “elective procedure” isn’t something that has always been available. However, today it is a common as any procedure performed. People routinely undergo a “tummy tuck”, “lipo” or a “nose job”. It’s now about as easy as going to the dentist.

Though it is a common phenomenon now, in the early days of plastic surgery, the surgeon’s were missing one important ingredient – anesthesia. Can you imagine undergoing any type of surgery without the use of anesthesia? It would be a little painful to say the least. These pioneers of the industry somehow managed to get the job done without it. In fact, when they first started, they didn’t even have the use of antibiotics. Many people suffered from infections and other problems without antiseptics or anything to clean the wounds with.

Evidence suggests plastic surgery was performed as early as 2000 BC. Charak and Sushruta, two Vedic scholars, were some of the early pioneers of the industry. They made significant enhancements to the field of cataract and plastic surgery. Their works were translated for later generations to use. In 1794 British doctors went to India to see the locals perform a rhinoplasty. They published their findings in a popular magazine called “Gentleman’s Magazine.” Joseph Carpue was one of the doctors who went to India to learn. He spent over 20 years there, trying to learn the methods. He brought the techniques back with him to the western world. In 1815, he performed the first procedure of its kind back in his home land. The first plastic surgeon in the United States was Dr. John Peter Mettauer, who performed the first repair on a cleft palate in 1827.

In the earlier centuries, plastic surgery was reserved for extreme cases. If someone had a disfigured body part or injury from battle, they would utilize it. However, there was no surgery that was done frivolously. It had to be a very serious case before any doctor would undertake it. In the 19th and 20th centuries, this changed with the advent of anesthesia and disinfectants. These made the procedure much safer. It was then that people could undergo plastic surgery to change something about themselves that they didn’t like.

The early procedures called for life-threatening measures and excruciating pain. Today, it is taken on by millions of people each year with hardly any pain at all. The surgery has been changed and perfected by doctors all across the world. In fact, if you live in the Chicago area, there are several options to look at. If you are interested in plastic surgery Chicago is a great place to find qualified specialists.

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