Plastic Surgery is thought to have been first performed in ancient India by Sushruta in 800BC who described ancient rhinoplasty (nose job). In Ancient Egypt parents used various tools to shape the heads of their children in order to create more appealing look. The ancient Romans also performed plastic surgery, such as repairing ear injuries. However it wasn’t until the 20th century when advances in anesthesia and infection control made it possible for Plastic Surgery to develop and become sophisticated as we know it today.
Sir Harold Gillies
Sir Harold Gillies, an otolaryngologist from New Zeland, working in England during World War I on soldier with various horrific war injuries is considered the father of modern plastic surgery. Working at the facial injury ward of the Cambridge Military Hospital, Dr. Gillies and his colleagues created many of the basic plastic surgery techniques while performing some 11000 operations on 5000 injured soldiers.
Walter Yeo, a sailor who sustained facial during the Battle of Jutland, is believed to be the first person to undergo Plastic Surgery, in 1917 by Dr. Gillies.
World War I and II
Although various techniques of Plastic Surgery have been present since the ancient times and there was a slow progress and improvement in various surgical procedures, it wasn’t until the two World Wars and their horrific injuries that Plastic Surgery, reconstructive surgery to repair injuries and defects, grew and became a recognized specialty. The severity of war injuries inspired the development of surgical techniques to rebuild entire limbs, replace burned skin with extensive skin grafts, and fine surgical techniques such as microsurgery to repair what previously was not repairable.