The history of plastic surgery can be traced back to ancient civilizations. You will be surprised to know that Egyptians practiced it around 3,400BC, and between the years 6BC and 6AD, plastic surgery was recorded in Susruta Samhita, the famous Hindu medical chronicle devoted to plastic surgery procedures. Also, around 1BC, Roman physicians began to carry out plastic surgery on some of the gladiators who returned from battle with serious body and facial injuries that needed attention.
When Rome fell at the close of 3AD, a few hundred years went by without any more records of the history of plastic surgery. And then during the Middle Ages, which ran from the 5th to the Century AD, it was forbidden to have any kind of plastic surgery because the church viewed the procedures as sorcery due to the immense power that the surgeon had over his patient.
Time moved on, and at the end of the 1500s, the history of plastic surgery carried on, this time in Italy, on the island of Sicily. Here, an Italian named Tagliacozzi pioneered skin grafts when he was attending to someone’s nose that needed a reconstructive procedure. Just as in ancient times, there was no form of anesthetic available, and so it would have been very painful for the patient. Unfortunately for progress, the church interfered again, and Tagliacozzi was forced to stop his experiments.
As far as the records of the history of plastic surgery show,hundreds of years went passed with very few reports of procedures, and no signs of progressive techniques all the way until 1907, when a cosmetic surgery text was published. The “The Correction of Featural Imperfection,” as it was called, was however, not accepted by the medical establishment. Everything then remained quiet until the horrors of World War I, when countless soldiers needed surgery for deep wounds on their arms, necks, throats and faces.
Because there was not a uniform way of practicing this new medical skill, and the standards of the surgeons and states varied, the “American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery” was formed in 1931 to regulate plastic surgery professionals and document the best form of procedures. Since then, due to the massive growth and popularity of the industry, it has changed its name to the “American Board of Plastic Surgery.” At the present time, plastic surgery is continuing to evolve through exciting and innovative technological advancements.