Plastic surgeons are part of a specialty whose history goes back hundreds of years, back to the remote times of prehistory, where the art of healing was born as an instinctive reaction against accidents requiring individual and immediate action, or as a form to deal with something unknown that had invaded a person.
Plastic surgery has been enriched, thanks to the contributions made to this discipline by innumerable men and women at different times, publicly or anonymously, some as a result of the direct and natural observation of a situation, and others, the product of the experimentation and judicious study of phenomena.
The specialized surgery began to appear near the year 1950 BC with the Babylonians. The corrective surgery for cataracts is described in the Hammurabi Code. In India, Sushruta (600 BC) describes and performs operations for nasal reconstruction and atrial lobes, even using flaps whose principles are retained in the Indian technique currently used.
In the twentieth century, there was a crucial point in the development of plastic surgery, which is the first World War, because of the large number of patients that needed to be reconstructed and rehabilitated, to whom simple amputation was not a solution to their problems.
Around 1930, the global organization of plastic surgery services in hospitals began, including wound management, burns, grafting, flaps, maxillofacial, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery. The teaching was structured as with other specialties, and it was necessary to go to several countries and different services to acquire the necessary knowledge, and most importantly, research in these fields took off, in an integral way, to develop new techniques based on the principles learned. Tools and mechanisms were designed that facilitated the procedures and improved subsequent healing, obtaining better results in all reconstructive procedures.
World War II brought innumerable new cases to plastic surgery like many other specialties and disciplines, new challenges given to many wounded, mutilated and limited in their functions, ready to recover.
After the conflict was over, the specialty was further strengthened by Sir Harold Gillies, father of modern plastic surgery, who managed to integrate acquired principles into his professional practice, removing it from the reconstructive context in which he had been developing in the middle of the century, to apply them to the new needs posed by historical development, as in the correction of small defects, congenital or acquired, introducing reconstructive surgery, cosmetic surgery, giving rise to a new generation of plastic surgeons with different vision and horizon.
All of this implies a series of scientific knowledge, procedures, techniques and specialized protocols, which are recognized by the international medical and scientific community, whose development is based on the research and application of specific knowledge and requires specific program of study, research and training in this medical-surgical discipline.