Thursday, 24 May 2012

Rhinoplasty to Face Transplants – How Plastic Surgery Evolved

Plastic surgery has evolved in recent years, from a simple cosmetic rhinoplasty to fix a protruding nose to an entire face transplant for horrific injuries and freak accidents. To find out more visit

When people think of plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery, images of movie stars who have perfect noses as a result of a rhinoplasty spring to mind. The rhinoplasty, or nose job, is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures and aside from breast enhancements is the one procedure most associated with tinsel-town. But the rhinoplasty, alongside other facial restructuring procedures has its roots in medicine and trauma. Rhinoplasty, like other cosmetic surgery, became more prominent as a result of the two world wars where medical science was forced to advance to cope effectively with the horrifying facial disfigurements suffered by troops.

Rhinoplasty, Plastic Surgery and Face Transplants

Rhinoplasty is an essential surgery for some trauma victims. But facial reconstruction can go much further than straightforward nose jobs. The story of one little girl in India shocked the world. Nine-year-old Sandeep Kaur was chopping hay in a field when her hair was caught in a thresher, which ripped off her whole face. The remains of the face lay in two distinct pieces near to the machine. The child's mother placed the skin in plastic bags, drove the child to a hospital three and a half hours away, and put the child's future in the hands of a plastic surgeon, Dr Abraham Thomas who was on duty at the time. The doctor felt it was something that couldn't be done, but spent ten hours reconnecting nerves and blood vessels, and although deeply scarred, the procedure was a success for the girl who grew up to train as a nurse.

Nose Jobs Now 'Routine'

In the context of face plants, rhinoplasty is now a very routine procedure. Although plastic surgery dates back centuries, cosmetic surgery began in the modern era as we know it when in 1896 Dr Jacques Joseph pinned the ears back of a boy suffering from school ground bullying. He went on to do a rhinoplasty on a man who felt too embarrassed by the size of his nose.
Dr Joseph suggested that cosmetic surgery could help not just trauma or accident victims, but could benefit those struggling with psychological as well as physical problems. After Dr Joseph's rhinoplasty on a healthy 28-year-old man, he noted: “The depressed attitude of the patient subsided completely...He is happy to move around unnoticed.” In 1904, he made another breakthrough with a rhinoplasty that avoided exterior scarring by entering the nose through the nostrils. And today cosmetic surgery is a multi-billion dollar industry, helping those with physical abnormalities of all kinds face up to a better life.

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