1. The principles of plastic surgery are thought to have been discovered in ancient India.
An encyclopaedia of medical treatments was compiled by a Hindu author, Sushruta, in about 600 BC. It describes hundreds of surgical procedures, including the first known rhinoplasty.
2. But a 16th century Italian surgeon, Gaspare Tagliacozzi, is considered the father of modern plastic surgery.
Tagliacozzi (1545–99) is famous for developing reconstructive surgery, specifically rhinoplasty, to restore noses that had been amputated in the war. His was known as the “Italian method”.
3. Breasts were once injected with beeswax.
The first injectable breast implant materials included paraffin, vegetable oil, and beeswax. Yikes.
4. The first breast augmentation surgery was performed in 1895.
The first documented one, that is. A professor of surgery in Heidelberg transplanted tissue from a woman’s back to her breasts.
5. We have plastic surgeons to thank for shatterproof windshields.
Concerned with the number and severity of facial lacerations from car accidents, a group of plastic surgeons and emergency medical physicians encouraged the development of shatterproof windshields in the 1930s.
6. Liposuction cruised into the U.S. in the 1980s.
In 1982, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons sent a panel to France to assess the new “lipolysis” procedure for fat removal. It was deemed safe and introduced to American patients. And it’s more popular than ever: In 2014 alone, nearly 350,000 liposuction procedures were performed.
7. In 2014, Americans spent $12 billion on cosmetic procedures.
Over 10 million surgical and nonsurgical procedures (like Botox) were performed.
8. The number of butt augmentation procedures increased by 86% between 2013 and 2014.
Everybody wants buns, hun.
9. More and more men are getting cosmetic surgeries done to enhance their looks.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) reports that between 1997 and 2013 there has been a 273% increase in the number of male patients undergoing cosmetic procedures.
10. Leeches are important participants in some reconstructive surgeries.
These little creatures have been helping medicine for about 2,500 years, and today are still indispensable assistants in reconstructive surgery. Their saliva contains an anticoagulant, which helps to fight blood clots and improve blood circulation in inflamed areas.
11. The world’s first double arm transplant was completed in 2008.
A 54-year-old patient, who lost both limbs in a farming accident, was given the arms of a 19-year-old by a team of doctors in Germany.