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What is Plastic Surgery?

In the timeless pursuit of self-improvement, the art of sculpting the human form has a rich history that extends far beyond the contemporary associations of plastic surgery with youth and beauty. The term itself, rooted in the Greek word "plastikos" which means to mold or give form, reflects a history connected with medical necessity.   


Plastic surgery, often associated with modern procedures like breast augmentation, actually goes way back in history. Its origins are rooted in the effort to correct physical deformities and enhance the quality of life. Over the centuries, this practice evolved into what is now known as cosmetic surgery. Today, plastic surgery has reached advanced levels, employing minimally invasive techniques. Constant innovation in the field aims to enhance results, provide safer procedures, reduce recovery times, and elevate patient satisfaction. The journey from rudimentary tools to cutting-edge technologies signifies the remarkable progress of plastic surgery.  


Ancient Times  

1600 BC: The roots of plastic surgery stretch back to Ancient Egypt, where the quest for beauty and healing took an intriguing turn. The oldest-known procedures appear in “Edwin Smith Papyrus," an early Egyptian medical text resembling a trauma surgery handbook. This historical treasure unravels the mysteries of ancient practices, revealing not only the treatment of injuries and fractures but also a primitive yet innovative approach to restoring the nasal shape after injury: gentle manipulation of the nose into the desired position and securing it with wooden splints, lint, swabs, and linen plugs.   


1213 BC: In ancient Egypt, plastic surgery wasn't just for the living — it extended into the afterlife. Mourners of King Ramses II, known for his prominent nose, took special measures. To ensure he would be recognized as a king in the afterlife, they surgically inserted bone and seeds into his nose.   


600 BC: Exploring the ancient history of India, the development of plastic surgery takes a fascinating leap toward advanced cosmetic and reconstructive practices. In the 6th century B.C., Indian physicians, notably Sushruta, often hailed as the father of plastic surgery, laid the foundation for what we now recognize as reconstruction. He advanced the field with a highly sophisticated method of nasal reconstruction, creating new noses by utilizing skin from other areas of patients' faces, either the forehead or cheek. The Sushruta Samhita is his famous surgical guide, in which he explains the fundamental principles of plastic surgery, including a primitive form of cosmetic rhinoplasty.   


100 BC to 5th Century AD: Embarking on a journey through ancient Rome, we uncover other early chapters of plastic surgery, documented by the encyclopedist Aulus Cornelius Celsus. Within the pages of history, Celsus recorded a groundbreaking procedure focused on aesthetic enhancement— the surgical removal of excess skin around patients' eyes (what we today would call blepharoplasty, or eyelid rejuvenation). The Romans, driven by a desire to improve their image, also engaged in simpler plastic surgery techniques, such as the repair of damaged ears. Celcus’ book guided plastic surgeons for more than 1700 years.   


15th Century AD: The teachings of Sushruta Samhita found their way into Europe after being translated into Arabic. In Italy, surgeons Gustavo Branca and his son Antonio furthered the evolution of techniques, particularly in rhinoplasty. Innovatively, they opted to take skin from the forearm instead of the forehead and cheeks, aiming to minimize scarring. However, this groundbreaking approach came with a unique requirement — attaching the forearm to the nose for a period of ten days!  


1800’s: The term "plastic" found its association with cosmetic surgery when German surgeon Karl Ferdinand von Graefe introduced it in his significant work, Rhinoplastik, a modification of the Italian method. Rediscovering the skin graft technique, surgeons Felix Jean Casimir Guyon of Paris and Jacques Reverdin of Geneva advanced the practice in 1869. In a landmark moment in 1895, the first documented breast augmentation surgery unfolded, as surgeons corrected asymmetry by transplanting tissue from the back to the breast, marking a crucial milestone in the evolution of plastic surgery.  


20th Century  

During the seventeenth century, the practice of plastic surgery experienced a decline. The true turning point arrived in the 20th century, particularly during World War I, when the necessity for reconstructive plastic surgery became glaringly evident for numerous soldiers facing severe injuries. The bullets and explosive shells caused devastating head and facial injuries, which demanded innovative medical approaches.  


This period witnessed a paradigm shift as doctors, propelled by the sheer volume of patients and advancements in blood transfusions and infection control, explored pioneering techniques. Major Harold Gillies, while serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps, established a specialized facility for facial repair at Queen Mary's Hospital in London, where all patients were consolidated. Gillies, referred to as the “father of modern plastic surgery”, performed groundbreaking procedures, profoundly impacting the trajectory of plastic surgery.   


World War II further drove the evolution of plastic surgery with the introduction of novel techniques such as limb reconstruction, extensive skin grafts for burn victims, microsurgery, and an augmented understanding of tissue health and antibodies.  


The Modern Days  

The 1960s and 1970s marked a transformative era for plastic surgery, establishing it as an integral part of medical sciences. Silicone breast implants emerged as a game-changer, initially designed to address skin imperfections but quickly adopted for cosmetic breast enhancement. As silicone technology advanced, it became versatile, applicable to various body and facial areas, offering a myriad of possibilities for contouring and augmentation. The 1990s witnessed a pivotal shift in public perception, breaking the taboo around plastic surgery for aesthetic reasons. Economic prosperity made it accessible to the mainstream, leading to a surge in demand for procedures.   


Cosmetic procedures like breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, and face reshaping became widespread. The 1980s and 1990s brought not only improved public perception but also an influx of quality procedural information. Non-surgical alternatives like injectable fillers and laser treatments gained popularity, providing cosmetic enhancements without surgery. Plastic surgery, evolving with new technologies, has gained common acceptance, transforming lives by offering affordable and innovative solutions for achieving desired looks.  


Plastic Surgery Today   

Entering the 21st century, technological advancements have pushed plastic surgery into a new era, bringing revolutionary changes. The introduction of safe and highly effective instruments and regenerative techniques has expanded the horizon, as well as our dreams. Notably, advancements in technology have not only improved precision but also significantly reduced down time, while increasing longevity of results.


With the development of smaller instruments and regenerative technology, plastic surgeons can increasingly maintain and improve the effectiveness of their surgeries while minimizing incision size, thus markedly decreasing the risk of scarring. Plastic surgeons remain the premier specialists at the forefront of cosmetic surgery and innovations in regenerative medicine in the 21st century.  


Redeker Aesthetics - Pioneering New Frontiers in Aesthetic Advancements   

We will end our journey through the history and evolution of plastic surgery at Redeker Aesthetics – a premier destination for plastic surgery and regenerative medicine in Cham, Switzerland. We orchestrate treatments with state-of-the-art techniques and technologies, upholding our commitment to excellence.  

Driven by an insatiable quest for knowledge, we at Redeker Aesthetics actively engage in conferences and clinical trials, absorbing scientific advancements. Redeker Aesthetics offers patients the assurance of safe, effective, and cutting-edge treatments, delivering superior and naturally-appearing results. We craft personalized treatment plans, recognizing the uniqueness and distinctive needs of each patient. At Redeker Aesthetics, whether it concerns regenerative medicine or cosmetic surgery, the satisfaction rate is remarkably high. The journey towards your goals for an improved body image becomes truly special under our expert guidance.  

Embark on your transformative journey by scheduling a consultation at Redeker Aesthetics. Uncover the safest and most advanced plastic surgery options, redefining your aesthetic journey today!  



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