A Brief History of Plastic Surgery

Have you ever wondered where it all began? Who “invented” plastic surgery and what was the first operation? Well, for the staff at our practice – a leading Palm Beach plastic surgery practice – our curiosity was ignited and we began to dig. What you might find most surprising from the information we’ve provided below is that cosmetic modifications date back thousands of years.

Check out these highlights from the historical timeline of plastic surgery:

6000 – 3400 BC: Individuals in Egypt and India began fiddling with nose shaping.

800 BC: Doctors in ancient India were using skin grafts for reconstructive procedures.

1827 AD: Known as “America’s first plastic surgeon of note,” Dr. John Peter Mettauer performs the first cleft palate operation in the New World, using instruments of his own design.

1890: Dr. Marx and Dr. Demars perform the first tummy tuck in France.

World War I (1914 – 1918): Plastic surgery procedures are created and techniques are modified to reconstruct soldiers’ faces disfigured in the war. It’s noted that plastic surgery began to slowly enter mainstream American culture after WWI.

1917: British soldier Walter Yeo sustained extensive injuries to his face during the Battle of Jutland. He’s considered to be the first known person to benefit from plastic surgery, performed by Sir Harold Gillies—an otolaryngologist from New Zealand.

1951: Sir Harold Gillies performs the very first male-to-female sex change operation.

1962: Timmie Jean Lindsey is the first woman to receive silicone breast implants.

Dr. Jason Cooper is a Harvard-trained, board-certified Palm Beach plastic surgeon whose patient-centered approach and meticulous attention to detail produce excellent results. At his Palm Beach plastic surgery practice, Jason Cooper MD, he specializes in innovative solutions for the neck, face, breast and body.