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Cosmetic surgery is a subspecialty of plastic surgery and often the words are used interchangeably as is in this article.

Each year plastic and reconstructive surgeons improve the lives of millions of patients across the globe for many indications and reasons; however, the ultimate outcome is to provide a better cosmetic look to a disfigured body or face.

Motivations for having cosmetic surgery can be divided into external influences like indirect coercion by a spouse, media, and celebrity influence. However, the internal motivations are also multitude and may include the wish to alter a specific disliked feature; in addition to looking younger, and less tired.

A Hindu surgeon reconstructed a nose using a part of cheek as far back as 600 BC. Rhinoplasty became common in 1000 AD, as noses were severed when punishing an enemy.

Tagliacozzi, a 16th Century Italian surgeon “the father of modern plastic surgery,” popularised reconstruction of noses slashed off by swords during duels by transferring tissue from the upper arm skin.

Pierre Desault a Frenchman in the late 18th Century popularized the word plastic, which originates from the Greek “plastikos” (to mold), as it became a descriptive term for reconstructive procedures to repair facial deformities.

The evolution of Plastic surgery in the 19th Century continued as anaesthetic techniques became more advanced to support more complex surgery, which is rings true to date.

In the 20th Century with the two world wars and the injuries resultant from the wars, in addition to the rise in industries like cars and steel further adding to more severe injuries, plastic utilised their skills and innovative minds to develop more sophisticated techniques to cater to their patients needs, which continue to evolve to date.

In1923, the first cosmetic rhinoplasty was performed, which followed by the first public facelift in 1931, and the first liposuction although was introduced in the 60s it became more popularized in 1982 by the French plastic surgeon Illouz in 1982.

The first breast enlargement was performed as early as 1895 when Czerny used a patient’s own fat to implant into a breast to correct asymmetry; however, it was not until 1962 when Cronin and Gerow implanted the first breast implants into a female model.

Cosmetic surgery as is plastic surgery is a highly evolving field spearheaded by plastic surgeons who are focused, motivated, innovative cohort of surgeons who share one goal in common the best safest outcomes for their patients in the long run.

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