Plastic Surgery Procedures and Studies

Last Updated: January 28, 2013

Plastic Surgery

We live in an appearance driven society. First impressions can mean everything. They can sometimes make the difference between getting that job, snagging that date, or negotiating that deal. The importance of appearance is evidenced by the fact that, in 2011, 13.8 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the United States.

Some studies have even shown that attractive people have a significantly higher probability of attaining their goals. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) the overall number of surgical procedures increased by more than 73%, and nonsurgical procedures increased by 356% since the collection of the statistics first began in 1997.

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Plastic surgery gained popularity during the 18th century, as Europeans were becoming particularly interested in reconstructive nose plastic surgery to correct abnormalities from illness or combat.

Plastic Surgery Viable Option For Thousands of People

While many people may live by the old adage that "beauty is only skin deep", even these people cannot deny the importance of looking and feeling your very best. Images of beauty are constantly being ingrained in our heads by the magazines, television and the Internet and, each year, thousands of Americans have surgical or non-surgical plastic surgery procedures to improve their sense of self-comfort and confidence in our beauty driven society. From face lift to tummy tucks and Botox® injections, as our society gets increasingly older, more people are turning to cosmetic surgery.

So what typifies beauty in our society?

While subjective, beauty, according to researchers, exists with symmetrical body proportions and features. Most physically attractive people have body features that are in good proportion to each other. These people are often successful in life and afforded more opportunities and the more physically attractive you are, the more attention you will receive from the opposite sex.

While the benefits of being one of the "beautiful people" are clear, the fact is that most of us have flaws and are less than happy with our physical appearances. In today's hectic world, most people barely have time to manage their daily tasks, let alone think about diet, exercise, or putting the energy and time into achieving their aesthetic goals. As the demands of our daily lives increase, so does the desire to achieve the ideal physical appearance. As a result, plastic surgery has become a viable option for thousands of people.

Plastic surgery procedures, once only accessible to the rich, are now more affordable and attainable for everyone. Techniques have also improved and patient satisfaction rates have skyrocketed. Find out if cosmetic surgery is right for you.

What is Plastic Surgery?

Whether it's an overly wide set of hips, a larger than average nose, or a couple of unnecessary chins, most of us have some feature that we would like to change. Millions are now turning to plastic surgery to achieve their goals. Plastic surgery is a field of medicine that deals with the reconstruction or enhancement of facial and body tissue to improve the appearance. Plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery are terms that are used interchangeably; however, the term "plastic" should not lead one to think of an unnatural or fake appearance. To the contrary, the term is derived from the Greek term "Plastikos" and means "to mold or to take shape". Shaping and sculpting is paramount to the very essence of plastic surgery.

Types of Cosmetic Surgery Procedures

There are literally hundreds of plastic surgery techniques and procedures out there today. Thankfully, those people who are uncomfortable enough with their appearance that they are willing to undergo surgery have a plethora of options available now. The confidence and self esteem that can be attained through cosmetic surgery is immeasurable. Many cosmetic surgeons say that the sense of personal satisfaction they gain from giving someone a renewed sense of self confidence is also immeasurable.

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Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) the overall number of surgical procedures increased by more than 73%, and nonsurgical procedures increased by 356% since the collection of the statistics first began in 1997.

History of Cosmetic Surgery

During the 4th century, the Byzantine physician, Oribasius, wrote at length about different reconstructive plastic surgery procedures in his medical encyclopedia called synagogue Medicae. Oribasius' work was very influential and he wrote at length about creating tensionless suture lines and other cosmetic surgery techniques.

The practice of plastic surgery experienced a lull for a period of time but was followed by a resurgence of reconstructive plastic surgery during the 14th, and then the 18th century. Plastic surgery gained popularity during the 18th century, as Europeans were becoming particularly interested in reconstructive nose plastic surgery to correct abnormalities from illness or combat.

It was not until World War I that reconstructive procedures became slightly more mainstream, particularly as a result of the horrors of World War I. The war left millions crippled or hideously deformed.

History of Plastic Surgery

The history of plastic surgery can also be considered a history of our society's reverence for physical beauty and attractiveness. Ancient Indian Sanskrit texts held the first documented accounts of reconstructive plastic surgery. In the text were accounts of reconstruction of noses and earlobes. The text dates back to 500 B.C., a time when plastic surgery was necessary as a result of the common punishment of mutilation.

Collaborations were formed between surgeons of various nationalities and disciplines and American, British, French, German, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian surgeons became Rhinologists, Oral surgeons, General surgeons, Dental surgeons, Ophthalmologists, and Neurosurgeons. Many of these same surgeons are now considered the fathers of modern plastic surgery. Founding fathers included Sir Harold Gillies (Otolaryngologist) from New Zealand, and the Americans Vilray Blair (Orthopedic surgeon), Robert Ivy (General surgeon), Lee Cohen (Otolaryngologist), and Varaztad Kazanjian (Dentist).

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Plastic surgery procedures, once only accessible to the rich, are now more affordable and attainable for everyone.

In 1921, the American Association of Plastic Surgeons (AAPS) was formed, and in 1931, American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (ASPRS) was founded. The field of plastic surgery was finally recognized as a professional medical specialty. However, plastic surgery as a medical profession was not without its critics. Dr. John Staige Davis argued in 1926,"...if a new nose enabled a war veteran to hold a job and marry, could it not also improve the employment opportunities of a civilian man or sweeten the marital and therefore financial prospects of a woman?.... Wasn't it undemocratic to deny an individual the right to self-improvement?".

Plastic surgery eventually became fully integrated into the medical community. As more physicians became certified in plastic surgery and the number of procedures increased, the 1960s saw a greater acceptance of the field. By the 1970s, plastic surgeons became one of the leading medical professions. In today’s society, you can find an expert plastic surgeon in nearly every city.

Today, thousands of (ASPSR) board-certified plastic surgeons are available in every part of the country. Safety, efficiency and patient satisfaction continue to improve and the stigma of "having work done" is all but gone. This continued evolution has given millions of people a renewed sense of confidence and self esteem.

Free Consultation with a Board Certified U.S. Plastic Surgeon

To learn more cosmetic plastic surgery please fill in the contact form below, or call us today at the number found in the upper right corner of this page. We'll be glad to answer all of your questions or concerns and even give you the option to schedule a free consultation with a board certified surgeon in your local area. The majority of surgeons also have financing plans available to offer their customers.

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