This book provides a complete history of plastic surgery, a description of the modern techniques and choices available, and an overview of the controversies surrounding the choice to voluntarily change your physical appearance.
In modern society, the decisions to pursue plastic surgery—such as rhinoplasty or breast augmentation—are sometimes made with as little thought as changing one's hair color. Should plastic surgery be treated as a consumer choice rather than an optional medical decision?
Plastic surgery was historically considered a medical necessity. These were procedures specifically developed to treat burn or accident victims, to correct those born with cleft palates, or to repair extreme cases of cosmetic disfigurement, such as amputations performed as a punishment for adulterous men. Today, however, plastic surgery is a common option for those seeking to modify their normal and uninjured bodies to conform to an unrealistic, idealized model of perfection.
This book presents the fascinating history of how therapeutic techniques were adapted to offer cosmetic changes to patients without disfiguring bodily flaws. The first section of Plastic Surgery details this evolution by tracing the history from development of the medical techniques to the choices currently available today. The second section digs deeper to examine the controversies and issues associated with plastic surgery, such as race, beauty, and gender reassignment. The third section offers primary documents produced by medical authorities regarding accepted procedures and practices, as well as an expansive glossary and timeline.
• Presents essays by Thomas Mutter—namesake of the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia—on his techniques for burn victims
• Provides illustrations depicting examples of plastic surgery ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century
• Includes a useful bibliography of primary sources
• Contains a glossary explaining medical and body orientation terms
• Presents invaluable information about the risks, benefits, and expected results of cosmetic plastic surgery and/or rehabilitative plastic surgery to a largely uninformed public
• Educates readers about potential psychological reasons for electing unnecessary surgery
• Provides resources published by respected organizations, such as the American Board of Plastic Surgery, regarding ethical and nonethical standards
• Includes bizarre information regarding certain types of genital surgery