Plastic surgery

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Plastic surgery is a medical speciality that focuses on the repair, reconstruction, or change of the human body by surgical intervention. Reconstructive surgery and aesthetic surgery are the two primary disciplines of plastic surgery. Craniofacial surgery, hand surgery, microsurgery, and the treatment of burns are all examples of reconstructive surgery. When compared to reconstructive surgery, which aims to rebuild or improve the functioning of a part of the body, cosmetic (or aesthetic) surgery aims to enhance the appearance of the body.[1]

Originally from the Greek (v), plastik (tekhn), "the art of moulding" of flexible flesh, the term "plastic" refers to the process of "reshaping" in plastic surgery. From as early as 1598, this meaning can be found in the English language. By over seventy years, the surgical definition of "plastic" debuted in 1839, more than seventy years before the present "engineering material derived from petroleum" definition.

In the Edwin Smith papyrus, an Egyptian medical book dating back to around 1600 BCE, treatments for plastic restoration of a damaged nose are first addressed. Edwin Smith, an American Egyptologist, was the inspiration for the first trauma surgery textbook. Surgical treatments for reconstruction were being used in India as early as the year 800 BC. Dr. Sushruta was a physician who practised in the 6th century BC and made significant contributions to the fields of plastic surgery and cataract surgery. It was in his book, Sushruta Samhita, that Sushruta's developments were recorded.

A century after the birth of Christ, the Roman scholar Aulus Cornelius Celsus documented surgical methods, which included cosmetic surgery. Using rudimentary procedures, such as fixing broken ears, the Romans began performing plastic aesthetic surgery in the first century BC and continued until the early third century AD. The fact that they did not dissect human people or animals for religious reasons meant that their knowledge was entirely derived from the scriptures of their Greek forefathers. Despite this, Aulus Cornelius Celsus left behind some very precise anatomical descriptions, some of which, for example, his research on the genitalia and skeleton, are of particular importance to cosmetic surgeons.


  1. "What is Cosmetic Surgery". Royal College of Surgeons. Retrieved 16 March 2022.