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