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The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation

HISTORY PDF Print E-mail

The history of plastic surgery began more than 4,000 years ago. Although reconstructive surgery was used in India in 800 BC, the evolution of plastic surgery moved very slowly for thousands of years, especially in European medicine. (Eastern medicine's history of plastic surgery is much more lengthy, with skin grafts and reconstruction described in several books on the history of plastic surgery.)

In the late 19th Century, the American medical community embraced reconstructive surgery and the history of plastic surgery in the United States began. The first major American surgeon to make his mark in the history of plastic surgery was Dr. John Peter Mettauer, who performed the first cleft palate operation in the North American history of plastic surgery in 1827 with instruments he designed himself.

War played a huge role in the history of plastic surgery. World War I presented physicians with scores of severe facial wounds and burns, changing the history of plastic surgery. Modern weapons caused types and severity of injuries that were unprecedented in the history of plastic surgery. Some of the greatest medical talent devoted themselves fully both to exploring the history of plastic surgery and creating new techniques to treat men maimed by the war. Aesthetic surgery took its place in the history of plastic surgery at around this time, as surgeons fully realized the influence of appearance on self esteem and an individual's success.

 

"I GIVE..."

Dr. and Mrs. James R. Payne
Modesto, CA
Life Insurance Policy

“…because there are so many important areas of plastic surgery research that need further or ongoing support to help improve our specialty.”



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