Technological advances and changing cultural mores have continually broadened the scope of plastic surgery.

About Plastic Surgery Plastic surgery as a medical specialty was born out of the horrors of World War I and the tremendous toll taken on mankind. Besides the thousands of soldiers who were killed, millions more were crippled or hideously deformed, requiring ingenious and specialized surgical treatment. Surgeons at the time faced gaping skull wounds, severe facial burns, shattered jaws, and noses and lips that were shot off--injuries of a type and severity that had never been seen before.
Plastic surgery is the surgical repair of skin defects and deformities, the removal of skin tumors, and surgical reconstruction. Increasingly, however, this medical specialty includes other procedures such as fatty-tissue removal, wrinkle reduction, breast and penile enlargement or reduction, and even the permanent application of make-up. Technological advances and changing cultural mores have continually broadened the scope of plastic surgery such that it is now primarily equated with cosmetic or aesthetic surgery.
Plastic Surgery may well be the oldest branch of medicine, but many centuries passed before modern methods, including plastic surgery, were possible. It was not until precise knowledge of the body was available, anesthesia was understood, and methods of controlling hemorrhage and post-operative infection were devised that complex surgery could be undertaken. There is evidence to suggest, however, that surgery could have been an ancient practice.
Body image--defined as the perceptions, thoughts, and feelings a person has about his or her physical appearance--is thought to play an important role in self-esteem for many individuals. In addition, physical appearance and body image influence how others perceive persons. Research shows that attractive people are viewed more positively in practically every situation studied, such as education, employment, health, care, legal proceedings, and romantic encounters.