This question is not so easy to answer with a simple explanation. This is because one must first define what cosmetic surgery is and then agree on when the first procedure was carried out.
So to fully answer this question, I will first define what we mean by cosmetic surgery. Once this has been established, I will then go on to discuss where the first surgery was performed.
Further, I will go back some thousands of years to what we consider to be the first crude forms of surgery and then discuss what could be regarded as the first modern-day procedure.
What is Cosmetic Surgery?
Cosmetic surgery is a cosmetic specialty involving the repair, reconstruction, or modification of the body.
It can also be divided into two general categories: reconstructive and elective cosmetic surgery. Reconstructive surgery usually includes craniofacial procedures, such as hand surgery, microsurgery, and the repair of burn wounds.
Some people are not sure about the idea of cosmetic surgery and what it is all about. For these people, the answer lies in the word “surgeon”. A surgeon performs any surgery involving the manipulation of tissue, such as cutting bones, removing tumors, or inserting new organs. When a doctor conducts any surgery on his patients, he uses special instruments and surgical procedures.
The instruments used in reconstructive surgeries include scalpels, saws, crutches, scalpels, knives, scissors, stitches, incisions, and more.
On the other hand, during the process of cosmetic surgery, the instruments used during surgery on the body can vary depending on the specific surgery to be performed. For example, some of the more exotic tools used are lasers and ultrasound.
The most popular cosmetic surgeries are the facelift, brow lift, tummy tuck, rhinoplasty, and liposuction.
Many doctors and clinics provide cosmetic procedures. They are known for their ability to perform the operations and make patients feel comfortable with their services, such as the Masri Clinic in Birmingham.
Their services should be performed by trained and experienced cosmetic surgeons to ensure that they are giving the right results to their patients. Most of them have an excellent reputation and have been around for many years.
Some doctors and clinics even offer cosmetic procedures on a waiting list where the patient has to give their name and address to know when they have someone available to help them out with their cosmetic procedures.
The waiting lists are usually for two weeks or up to six months, depending on the surgery being performed, how well-received the clinic or Surgeon is, and their location.
Types of Cosmetic Surgery
There are several different types of cosmetic surgery to improve a patient’s features. These can all be classified into three groups, which are reconstructive, plastic, and cosmetic.
The main difference between the three types of surgeries is how they use various techniques and tools to reshape or enhance features.
Reconstructive surgery, or cosmetic surgery, mainly aims to change how a person looks after age. There are several reasons why cosmetic surgeons perform reconstructive procedures. These include:
Plastic Surgery for the Body
There are several different types of plastic surgery that can improve body anatomy. These can include procedures such as breast augmentations, breast reduction surgery, and liposuction. These are typically performed to help with an abnormal look on the body or when the body has been injured somehow.
Cosmetic Surgery for the Skin
Another form of surgery used to improve the appearance of the skin is known as cosmetic surgery.
This type of surgery is used to improve one aspect of the body. Patients undergoing this procedure often request it because of skin changes or scars caused by accidents, burns, or disease.
The most common cosmetic procedures that are done for this purpose are facelifts and breast augmentation. However, it should be noted that some patients ask for this type of surgery to reduce sagging or drooping skin.
Where was the first Cosmetic Surgery Performed?
As I alluded to at the beginning of this post, it is somewhat tricky to state where the first surgery was performed decisively.
With that said, an argument could be made that the first known procedure was performed in ancient Egypt.
The first mention of any reconstructive surgery is found in ancient Egyptian texts dating as far back as 3000 BC.
However, the most comprehensive and documented operations were undertaken in India, Circa 800 BC.
From an intensive twenty year study of Indian plastic surgery methods, British Surgeon Joseph Constantine Carpue was able to perform the Western world’s first major cosmetic surgery in 1815.
However, with all said and done, the first documented, major plastic surgery, was performed on an English sailor named Walter Yeo, who received extensive facial wounds during a naval battle during World War One in 1916.
During this battle, he lost his upper and lower eyelids while operating a heavy gun. As a result of his injuries, it was recommended that he attempt to correct the damage via “experimental” methods.
The Surgeon that operated was Sir Harold Gillies, who incidentally is also the first documented physician to perform a skin graft, i.e., take healthy skin from one part of the body to heal another part in need of healthy skin.
The process involved taking a skin graft and placing it over the injured portion of his face and eyes.
The operation was a success but was plagued by infections and required several subsequent surgeries to correct.
Nonetheless, this is still considered the world’s first major cosmetic surgery that involved considerable surgical skills and involved first-ever skin grafting.
As a result of this pioneering surgery, cosmetic surgery has continued to evolve and has moved into the realm of elective surgery, as mentioned earlier.
Cosmetic surgery has been around for millennia in some form or another. The extent of said surgery varies from century to century. Still, since humankind has been sustaining scarring injuries or is born with certain defects, some form of cosmetic or corrective surgery has existed.