Plastic surgery is one of the oldest medical specialty
By Dr Sanjay Parashar
Consultant Plastic Surgeon
Chairman, Scientific Emirates Plastic Surgery Society
Plastic surgery is one of the oldest medical specialty that was practiced as early as 600 BC, although it wasn’t recognized as Plastic Surgery. Sushruta the Ancient Indian Physician was the first person to perform reconstructive nose surgery borrowing skin from forehead. The medical works of Susruta was translated from Sanskrit to Arabic during Abbasid Caliphate in 750 AD.
It was than practiced in Italy and gradually in the western world. It was around 1598 that the term Plastic was coined. It came from Greek word “ Plasticos” that means to “mould’. Plastic surgery was defined in 1839. It basically meant moulding body tissue to restore, reconstruct and alter human body.
It is divided in two main categories: Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery popularly known as Cosmetic Surgery.
There are several sub specialities of Reconstructive surgery such as Craniofacial Surgery, Hand Surgery, Microneuro-vascualr surgery, Genital reconstructive surgery, burns and rehabilitative surgery, paediatric plastic surgery and lower limb surgery.
Aesthetic surgery comprises of Facial Plastic Surgery, Oculoplastic Surgery, Breast surgery, Body contouring surgery, Body Lift surgery, Genital rejuvenation surgery and Aesthetic medicine.
A typical education and training to become a Plastic Surgeon requires 5 ½ years of Medical Schooling, followed by 3 years of Surgical training. After Surgical training based on competitive evaluation one is admitted for Plastic surgery residency for atleast 3 years. This is followed by Board examination and admittance as Plastic Surgeon. This is followed by fellowship training in desired subspeciality of Plastic Surgery which can last upto 5-6 years.
Plastic Surgeons must go through atleast 13 years of education and training before earning a license to practice.