A Real ‘Vintage’ Look: Plastic Surgery Through the Ages

plastic surgery new jersey

Right now, my New Jersey plastic surgerypractice is in the middle of our “Vintage You” campaign. The campaign encourages women to share photos of their best-ever looks from years past for a chance to win a $300 credit at our practice.

This has me thinking about other “vintage” moments in the world of cosmetic enhancement. Though cosmetic surgery may seem like a thoroughly modern concept, it’s actually been around for millennia. Check out some of these highlights from the past to see how we progressed to the amazing procedures, products, and techniques we have today:

  • 600 B.C.: The first recorded account of plastic surgery occurred in India more than 2,600 years ago. Texts show surgeons tried repairing damaged noses and ears by taking skin grafts from other areas.
  • 100 B.C.: The ancient Romans made major medical advances in many specialties, including plastic surgery. There are accounts of scar removal after battle, reconstructive facial surgeries for gladiators, and at least one male breast reduction by the surgeon Cornelius Celsus.
  • 1597: After centuries of experimental surgeries, the first plastic surgery textbook was published in Italy by Gasparo Tagliacozzi, who wrote eloquently on the physical and emotional power of self-improvement.
  • 1931: A pair of world wars spurred unprecedented research into reconstructive procedures that would soon form the basis of modern plastic surgery. In 1931, the precursor to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons® was formed, followed quickly by The American Board of Plastic Surgery in 1937. These shifts signaled a change in the industry toward more regulation and higher standards of care that persist today.
  • 1950s: One of the most famous beauty icons of all time, Marilyn Monroe underwent cosmetic surgeries on her chin and nose, according to medical records that were uncovered only last year.
  • Today: Last month, a BuzzFeed videowent viral showing the ever-changing aesthetic ideals of women throughout history. Listed among the most recent trends is the fact that more women than ever “get plastic surgery to achieve their desired look.”

It’s clear that the desire to look one’s personal best has long been at the heart of humanity. I’m pleased to help people do that every day.

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