Fun Facts: The History of Plastic Surgery
In 2010, over 1.6 million people underwent plastic surgery procedures for a total of $10.1 billion, and it is now commonplace enough to be the subject of talk shows and magazine articles. With the popularity of plastic surgery at an all time high, we thought it would be fun to take a quick look back in time at the origins of it all.
The First Plastic Surgery (1213 B.C.)
In ancient Egypt, it was believed that one’s face was the only physical attribute that carried over into the afterlife. Therefore, when the famous Egyptian king Ramses II passed away, his mourners surgically inserted bone and seeds into his already prominent nose in order to ensure that he was recognized in the afterlife.
The First Procedures on Living Human Beings (600 B.C.)
In ancient India, the noses of criminals were cut off for permanent public shame. In an attempt to encourage forgiveness, Dr. Sushruta created a surgical procedure to reconstruct the nose of ex-criminals. The process, recognized as the first known plastic surgery procedure, involved removing skin from the cheek or forehead and applying it to the nose.
Plastic Surgery for Normalcy (100 B.C.)
Romans were the first to use plastic surgery to improve self-image. Some common surgeries included:
- Procedures for wealthy women whose ears had becomestretched by the weight of their earrings.
- Freed slaves underwent procedures to remove or cover the brands used to mark them as property.
- Roman doctors would try various reconstructive procedures on the constant supply of disfigured Roman soldiers.
Dr. Babak Azizzadeh is a renowned Beverly Hills facial plastic surgeon, recognized as a Top Doctor by the US News & World Report. Dr. Azizzadeh is the author of five bestselling books, including “Master Techniques in Facial Rejuvenation“ and “Beverly Hills beauty Secrets.” He was recognized as a Beauty Expert in 2012, and has been featured in popular media outlets such as theOprah Winfrey Show, New Beauty, Elle, Entertainment Tonight, The Doctors, and the NY Times.