Plastic surgery is a medical specialty that uses a number of surgical and nonsurgical techniques to change the appearance and function of a person’s body.
 Plastic surgery procedures include both cosmetic enhancements as well as functionally reconstructive operations. In the former case, where aesthetics are considered more important than functionality, plastic surgery is sometimes referred to as cosmetic surgery. Most procedures involve both aesthetic and functional elements.
Just because the name includes the word “plastic” doesn’t mean patients who have this surgery end up with a face full of fake stuff. The name isn’t taken from the synthetic substance but from the Greek word plastikos, which means to form or mold (and which gives the material plastic its name as well).
Plastic surgery has a long history. Susrutha, an Indian surgeon, is the first known plastic surgeon, providing nose reconstruction services in the 8th century BC. The Romans were known to perform plastic surgery procedures to alter the appearance of ears. John P. Mettauer is generally agreed to be the first plastic surgeon in the United States, practicing in the 1820s. Plastikos is the base word for plastic surgery, meaning to mold something in Greek.
In more modern times, plastic surgery has come on strong as a method for changing appearances. The most common procedures with most popular first are liposuction, breast surgery, nose reshaping, eyelid lifts, tummy tucks and facelifts. In the last ten years, the number of plastic surgery procedures has quadrupled as the specialty has gained greater acceptance and publicity on television shows.
When one thinks about plastic surgery, most assume it is women having their appearances modified. In general, this is true. Roughly 80 percent of all plastic surgery patients are women, but the demographic is starting to change. While 20 percent of patients are now men, the figure is growing. Like women, men seek liposuction, nose reshaping, tummy tucks, and lifts. No, they don’t go in for breast enlargements, although breast reductions are growing in popularity.
Surgeons can reshape the appearance of body parts through cosmetic surgery. Some of the most common body parts people want to improve through surgery include
* Breasts: Increase or reduce the size of breasts or reshape sagging breasts
* Face: Remove facial wrinkles, creases or acne scars
* Hair: Fill in balding areas with one’s own hair
* Eyes: Correct drooping upper eyelids or remove puffy bags below the eyes
* Nose: Change the shape of the nose
* Tummy: Flatten the abdomen
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