Who Is the Founder Of Plastic Surgery?

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Plastic surgery is a vast field that encompasses different facets. This ambiguity also extends to understanding who exactly was the founder of plastic surgery.

To find out who is the founder of plastic surgery, you have to know where it came from.

According to some sources… 

The founder was a physician named Sushruta, who lived in India between 1000 – 800 BC (sources vary).

The Founder

Dr. Sushruta was the preeminent plastic surgeon of ancient history and was solely responsible for advancing medicine in India and worldwide.

His most famous procedures were nasal reconstructive surgery that focused on correcting irregularities. He was one of the first people we know to use what is now known as the “Indian method.” This involved using a cheek flap for the rhinoplasty process, which is still used to this day.

However, if we are talking about more modern plastic surgery techniques, then we could argue that it came into the forefront of medicine during the horrors of World War One.

This resulted from the horrific injuries that many soldiers sustained due to shrapnel, bullets, and sometimes even gas. This was the first real war that used arms over the musket ball and swords that came before.

The massive amounts of soldiers, combined with the war’s industrial nature, meant that injured soldiers stayed alive more than ever. With the advent of modern surgical methods, it was the perfect opportunity for enterprising physicians to advance plastic surgery and bring back some confidence to the injured men.

The Pioneer Of Modern Plastic Surgery

In this case, it was Harold Gillies who pioneered modern forms of plastic surgery.

Born in New Zealand but studying in England, he was posted to the front line in France for the war’s duration.

After this, he returned to Cambridge, England, to set up a special section for facial injuries inside a local military hospital. Moreover, he set up a system whereby any soldiers who sustained life-changing facial injuries were sent directly to his ward once they were evacuated from the front line.

With no shortage of men with terrible facial wounds, he was able to perfect methods that are still the basis for many reconstructive procedures even today.

One of the most exciting developments he made for the advancement of plastic surgery and general medical literature was the skin graft.

It was already well-understood that grafting healthy skin onto an injury would aid recovery; Sushruta knew this around 3000 years ago. 

However, the breakthrough that Harold Gillies made was that, in some cases, the healthy skin graft should still be connected to the body to ensure a consistent supply of healthy blood.

This kept the skin alive and sped up the healing process. Once they decided that the injury could heal by itself, they would detach the skin graft and clean the wound.

Perhaps the most famous example of this process was when he used a skin flap that was still attached to the body to fix the deformed face of Willie Vicarage, who was severely injured in 1916. 

What Is Plastic Surgery? 

Plastic surgery is a specialized surgical specialty involving the correction, reconstruction, or revision of the body’s natural appearance. It can be classified into two major categories:

Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery includes the surgical treatment of:

  • Facial disfigurements such as burns
  • Tumors
  • Congenital disabilities
  • Microsurgeries
  • Craniofacial operations
  • Reconstructive hand surgery

Reconstructive Surgery

Reconstructive plastic surgery is… focused on correcting deformities that occur over some time, such as a child growing up to become a young adult with an imperfection, aging, and injury.

There are many reasons why you might want to have plastic surgery done. If you have been the victim of a major medical procedure or accident, you may wish to have your body corrected to have a more positive outlook toward life.

You can find a doctor specializing in this type of surgery to help you with your goals, such as Masri Clinic’s office in Birmingham. This type of cosmetic surgery can also benefit people who suffer from physical disabilities, such as cerebral palsy or spinal cord injuries.

This type of surgery can improve one of their greatest assets. When you choose a doctor specializing in this type of surgery, you can be assured that the doctor will be knowledgeable and compassionate.

When it comes to reconstructive plastic surgery, patients will have different needs than those who have cosmetic plastic surgery. 

For example, reconstructive surgeries will correct the size and shape of a particular part of the body. You will need to have a qualified plastic surgeon perform the surgery to restore your skin, muscle, or bone to its former beauty.

The goal of reconstructive plastic surgery is to make your body look as perfect as possible.

Another essential thing to know about the surgery is that there is some risk involved.

Some surgeries will result in severe scarring or death, so ensure that you fully understand the risk factors associated with this type of surgery before you have any of these types of surgeries.

Before you choose a doctor for any surgery, you should discuss all your options and make an appointment to talk to a doctor.

Understanding what is plastic surgery can help you make an informed decision about what is best for you.

If you choose the right doctor, you can rest easy knowing that you are making an educated decision to give you the body of your dreams. Ensure that you go with a doctor who will be compassionate and understanding with you during the recovery process.


Plastic surgery is far more than mere cosmetic adjustments to become aesthetically more pleasing. It is sometimes lifesaving and can improve the self-confidence of many who have become seriously injured or born with some form of disfigurement.

From the ancient methods introduced by Sushruta all those years ago to the modern techniques innovated by Harold Gillies necessitated by savage war, those who have invented and advanced plastic surgery have impacted saving lives today.

Last Updated on November 17, 2020

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