The Surprising History of Plastic Surgery

Portrait of a woman who is happy she received plastic surgery from a board certified plastic surgeon in Sacramento, CA

Today I use plastic surgery to help my Sacramento-area patients live their most confident lives, whether that’s through body contouring, facial rejuvenation, or breast enhancement. However, plastic surgery wasn’t always as accessible and customizable as it is today.

The specialty goes back for centuries and has taken several surprising twists and turns on its path to becoming the helpful art I now practice. Let’s take a look at how it all began.

Early Plastic Surgery

The history of plastic surgery begins around 800 BC, when the first known practices of skin grafting took place in India. Most of the earliest techniques to develop were focused on repairing defects or injuries that affected the patient’s appearance.

The Middle Ages and the Renaissance brought about more advancements, including research on cleft lip repairs, eyelid surgery, and early techniques for male breast reduction, which would later serve as the basis for modern breast reduction procedures.

Plastic Surgery in the U.S.

Plastic surgery became a fixture of U.S. medicine after World War I. As soldiers returned home badly injured from battle, surgeons developed new techniques for repairing and reshaping the face and body. These techniques eventually become more mainstream, marking the beginning of plastic surgery as we know it today.

Continuous scientific and medical advances throughout the 1960s and 1970s continued to make procedures safer and more accessible. The first silicone implant used for breast augmentation was unveiled in 1962, and silicone implants quickly become a major staple of plastic surgery. By 1969, plastic surgeons were winning Nobel Prizes and being appointed to major roles, including U.S. Surgeon General.

Modern Plastic Surgery

During the 1980s and 1990s, health reform and public information campaigns continued to decrease the stigma associated with the specialty and make cosmetic procedures more accessible to the public. The popularity of enhancements like breast augmentation steadily grew, eventually booming in the 2000s. Information about safety, recovery, and the many possibilities of aesthetic treatments became more widespread than ever.

Today’s Trends

Now, men and women continue to explore the power of plastic surgery and the empowering difference it can make in their everyday lives. Every day, I perform customized procedures on patients looking to highlight their unique features and present their best selves to the world. Cosmetic enhancements have become another tool people can use to make sure their outer appearance reflects their inner beauty.

If you think cosmetic surgery may be the right avenue for you, I encourage to take the first step by researching available procedures. Of course, it’s always important to work with a skilled, board-certified plastic surgeon who can keep you safe and deliver the results you’re looking for. You can review my qualifications by reading my CV.

To learn more about plastic surgery procedures in Sacramento, please contact us online or call (916) 929-1833 to request a consultation at my practice.

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