Cosmetic surgery is not a new invention. Throughout the history of mankind, surgical procedures have tried to change personal appearances. The quality of cosmetic surgery Belfast and across Northern Ireland is far better than what it was like generations ago. So, when was cosmetic surgery attempted for the first time?
The first known mention of cosmetic surgery is in India in 600BC. Ancient Sanskrit scripts detail how noses and other bodily parts could be changed after they were damaged in battle. A Hindu surgeon living at the time wrote of grisly surgical procedures which could change a person’s physical appearance.
The Romans, who believed in making the human body as beautiful as can be, adopted plastic surgery. Sculptures were made which showed both the male and female form with no imperfections and plastic surgery aimed to improve them. Circumcision removal was a popular type of surgical procedure during the Roman period and so too was breast reduction surgery for men. The surgeon Aulus Cornelius Celsus wrote in a text in the 1st Century AD about a male patient who had breast reduction surgery because he was very overweight.
Despite the progress in humanity which is attributed to the Romans and the Greeks before them, the knowledge they gathered on the world, and plastic surgery, was ignored for hundreds of years. During the Middle Ages, plastic surgery was thought to be a sin. Even surgical procedures which could lengthen a person’s life were considered immoral.
Plastic surgery didn’t become popular again in Europe until the late 18th century. When British surgeons witnessed first-hand in India of a man’s nose being rebuilt, they wanted to recreate this for themselves. John Peter Mettauer is recognised as being the first official plastic surgeon but had to constantly fight against his peers who believed that the human body shouldn’t be modified due to their Christian beliefs.
After the end of the Great War in 1918, many ex-soldiers returned home with horrific scars and bodily disfigurements. Many plastic surgeons attempted skin grafts unsuccessfully. At the time, there was hardly any regulation in plastic surgery but this changed after WW1. This is because laws were passed to monitor cosmetic surgery. The end of the Second World War made a huge difference in plastic surgery. Procedures advanced which were able to transform the lives of ex-servicemen who returned home from Germany and Japan with terrible injuries.
Breast enhancement surgery became very popular in the 1960’s. Not only was this procedure chosen by women who wanted to make their breasts bigger but also those who had lost their breasts after having a mastectomy. Since the 1990’s, cosmetic surgery has increased in popularity furthermore. As there are more television shows than ever before which profile the benefits of having cosmetic surgery, those who watch them are choosing to have it because of what they’ve seen. As medicine keeps advancing, more cosmetic surgery procedures will be made available to the general public to change their appearance in a multitude of other ways.
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