Today, if you want a nose job to refine your profile or to achieve a smoother silhouette with lipsosuction no one would bat an eyelid. In some circles, cosmetic surgery is now as commonplace as undergoing Spa and beauty treatments. You may know how to find the best cosmetic surgeon in Marbella but do you know the origins of this transformative type of surgery and how it has become widely accepted?

Let’s start from the beginning, contrary to popular belief the ‘plastic’ in plastic surgery doesn’t refer to the results, it stems from the Greek word ‘plastikos’ which means to mould. Our perception of plastic surgery today is very different to the original purpose, which was to correct anatomical deformities caused by injury and birth defects. Whereas today, cosmetic surgery predominantly focuses on creating a more aesthetic pleasing face of body.

The earliest evidence suggests that rudimentary forms of plastic surgery was carried out as far back as 800BC. Early skin grafts were depicted in ‘Sushruta Samhita‘, an ancient book dating back to 8th century BC. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons identifies the first plastic surgeon as John Peter Mettauer, an American doctor who corrected a cleft palate in 1827, using instruments of his own design.

Over the years, plastic and cosmetic surgery have become different disciplines. As with the original plastic surgery, surgeons within this field are trained in both reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. Whereas cosmetic surgeons are trained in surgical procedures that will enhance features, rather than reconstruct deformities.

However, many of today’s cosmetic treatments were originally derived for medical or reconstructive purposes. For example, injectables were used to correct crossed eyes and to relieve headaches before it was used for smoothing wrinkles.

The pivot towards aesthetic procedures was made possible due to the scale of the injuries caused by World War I, surgeons were suddenly confronted with masses of soldiers requiring reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. The sheer number of injured soldiers requiring cosmetic surgery helped to advance the development of cosmetic techniques and the importance of helping these people whose lives were being blighted by physical deformities, injuries and burns. During this time leading plastic surgeons Archibald McIndoe and Harold Gilles developed the pioneering ‘tubed pedicled skin graft’ technique to treat facial burns.

After the first world war, plastic surgery was becoming recognised as a valuable and independent surgical discipline, which led to the launch of numerous societies and specialist plastic surgery journals. The first was the Société Européenne de Chirurgie Structive, launched by Belgian MD Maurice Coelst in 1936, annual international congresses were held to discuss innovative surgical procedures and to observe live surgery.

The advent of World War II stopped the society’s activities and were never resumed. Plastic surgeons were once again in high demand to treat wounded servicemen who required cosmetic procedures. In 1942, Gillies and McIndoe used this technique to help airmen’s burns at the Queen Victoria Hospital, which pushed plastic surgery into the mainstream.

Fast forward to the 1960s and 1970s, Dr. Thomas Cronin introduced the new innovation of silicone breast implants which started the demand for boob jobs, still one of the most popular cosmetic procedures today.

Facelifts and rhinoplasty had been performed for many years but they reached their zenith in the 1970s and 1980s, firstly amongst the rich and famous. It was around the same time, late 1970s, that new techniques in liposuction were developed by Arpad and Giorgio Fisher.

In the 1990s, one of many innovations and advancements in cosmetic surgery was the development of Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction and Tumuscent Liposuction saw liposuction become the most popular fat removal and body contouring procedures in the world.

The new millennium has brought a number of changes to the world of cosmetic surgery, including the growth in anti-wrinkle fillers and other tweakments. These types of none invasive procedures are considered to be maintenance treatments which are incorporated into many people’s beauty routines and are becoming increasing popular each year.

According to an article published by Research and Markets, “Europe Plastic Surgery Instrument Market Report 2023”, both men and women are using cosmetic procedures to improve their appearance. The most popular treatments being liposuction, breast augmentation, and nose jobs

If you would like to find out more about Dr. Pietro di Mauro’s cosmetic surgery procedures get in touch for a confidential no-obligation personalised consultation, by calling call 648 43 45 93.