Plastic surgery celebrates its 100th birthday this year! An astonishing 20 million plastic surgery procedures were performance around the world last year, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. But the speciality had humble beginning, treating wounded World War 1 veterans in Europe.
Harold Gillies pioneered reconstructive plastic surgery on the battlefields of Belgium as a volunteer in the Red Cross. He saw horrific injuries and developed a new technique called the tube pedicle to treat the soldiers’ disfigurements. His method saved many lives but did not ensure a good quality of life for patients, as the results often looked abnormal.
Later surgeons like Archibald McIndoe and Ivo Pitanguy became preoccupied not only with the physical outcome of reconstructive surgery but also with the psychological happiness of the patients. And so the emphasis of modern plastic surgery shifted from the purely physical to the emotional as well.
These days plastic surgery is performed on patients from all walks of life, in all corners of the globe with the important aim of enhancing both aesthetics and self-esteem. Our patients desire subtle alternations that look natural and help them to be their most confident self.