The History of Cosmetic Surgery: Part 1

Jul 5, 2018

Cosmetic surgery has not always been as widely accepted a practice as it is today in our American culture. In the last 10-15 years the instances and acceptance of cosmetic surgery has dramatically changed. At one time cosmetic surgery was viewed as an indulgence for the wealthy and narcissistic, but today it is ubiquitous and available to people from almost all walks of life. According to statistics kept by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, between 1992 and 2005, the number of cosmetic procedures performed by its member physicians increased by 775%, including surgical procedures and nonsurgical procedures such as Botox. If you’ve ever wondered how the medical practice of cosmetic surgery came to be, you’re not alone. There is some evidence to suggest that the first rhinoplasties (nose jobs) occurred circa 600 BC when the surgeons of that time constructed new noses for people who lost their nose through injury; these early rhinoplasties were performed by pulling flaps of skin down from the forehead or across from the cheek. Chinese historical documents from the 10th century describe surgical procedures to fix a harelip, and Italian records from the 1400’s describe nose reconstruction following sword-fighting injuries. So, various forms of cosmetic surgery have existed since early human history, and it is not merely an American phenomenon. If you want to know more about how cosmetic surgery came to be what it is today, stay tuned!