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History of Facial Plastic Surgery

Cosmetic Surgery had its beginnings at the end of the nineteenth century. At first, the morality of people willing to undergo such surgery was questioned, but with time, the procedure gradually became more acceptable.

There were many factors affecting the growth of cosmetic surgery. The development of general anaesthesia was a key issue since, until the 1920's, dripping Ether onto a rag covering the patients face was the most one could expect. The discovery of the first antibiotic and Sulfanamide, in the 1930's was also a major factor, as the risk of infection in such operations was high. Antibiotics became more widely used after World War II. Most importantly perhaps, surgeons merely lacked knowledge or the appropriate techniques needed to perform effective cosmetic surgery. With the development of general anaesthesia, antibiotics and new techniques, reliable operations and instruments could then be designed to accomplish cosmetic changes and reduce the risks involved.

Throughout its history, cosmetic surgery has always attracted opportunists; surgeons seeking a quick and easy profit. At first, people were keen to believe in the promise of youthful looks and were prepared to pay handsomely for it. In the early days, patients seeking cosmetic surgery had merely wanted scars concealing, but by the 1950's women were demanding their noses to be reshaped, purely to be in keeping with fashion and the popular image of beauty.

Reputable cosmetic surgeons are firstly general surgeons, plastic surgeons or otolaryngologists familiar with the body in general. They are therefore able to manage any surgical complaints which might arise. Traditionally, the best surgeons have actually been trained as reconstructive surgeons, helping patients to look normal.


One's nose draws the observer's eye because of its prominent position in the middle of the face. Surgeons have realized the anguish an obtrusive nose can cause to its owner and have developed ways to solve it.

Surgeons at first had to experiment in altering the shape of the nose. They trimmed nostrils that were too wide, elevated drooping tips and flattened humps of bone and cartilage to smooth humped noses. The real challenge was not the operation itself but leaving no obvious scars afterwards.