What is Plastic Surgery?

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    (Last Updated On: January 22, 2019)

    Honestly, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the words ‘Plastic Surgery’? –

    • boob job, nose job, tummy tuck; or
    • one of the Hollywood and Bollywood actresses who in news for undergoing cosmetic surgery; or
    • one of the characters in English television series like: Grey’s Anatomy, House M.D., Nip/Tuck, Botched, Swan- featuring plastic surgeons; or
    • one of movies depicting identity theft in Hollywood like Face/Off (1997), Stolen Face (1952) or Bollywood like Yakeen (2005).

    If yes, well this post is for you, you are not alone, and you are not at fault!

    Unfortunately, most of the medical students, physicians and surgeons from other disciplines are also unaware or misinformed about of what the specialty Plastic Surgery really is.

    How is Cosmetic Surgery different from Plastic Surgery?

    , of which, Aesthetic surgery is one.

    Plastic surgery vs Cosmetic surgery

    Reasons for Misconceptions

    Following may be the possible reasons for poor understanding of this discipline. Let me know below, in the comments section, if you agree with them or not and if you have figured out any other reasons.

    It’s NOT all in the Name

    Well, the term ‘plastic surgery’ originated from the Greek word plastikos, meaning ‘to mold’ or ‘to transform’. Though I believe, its the perfect term to describe the entire discipline- which essentially bring about transformation in form, function and life, it’s also one of the reasons for poor understanding.

    ‘Plastic’ in contrary to other specialties like ‘Uro’, ‘Gastrointestinal’ or ‘Neuro’, is vague and doesn’t portray any region of the body, or any particular type of surgery like- ‘transplantation’, ‘laparoscopic’, ‘endoscopic’ or ‘robotic’.

    Relatively young specialty

    Cosmetic Surgery News, TV Series Sell!

    Plastic surgery is a relatively new discipline with microsurgery, cleft repairs having it’s origin around 5 decades back. Most of the advances in brachial plexus injury repairs and perforator flaps have happened in the last decade and

    Leaked news of actresses who have undergone cosmetic surgeries are very popular gossip stories showcased in mainstream media. They along with TV series depicting cosmetic surgeons and unrealistic facial transformations in movies have perhaps been most influential in creating misconceptions.

    Misleading Google Search Trends

    Even Dr. Google doesn’t come in handy when someone looks for the search term- ‘Plastic Surgery’ and instead bombards them with links to all sorts of graphic images related to spicy news of cosmetic surgeries (overtly successful or botched up) and sometimes por**graphic websites.

    Google Videos search result for 'plastic surgery'
    Google Videos search result for 'plastic surgery' Screenshot of ‘Google Videos’ search result for the term ‘plastic surgery’

    Greater Cosmetic web and social media presence


    Hence, I wish to share inspiring video that I stumble upon that may help raise AWARENESS about the entire spectrum of our versatile specialty. I will be using a hash tag #RealPlasticSurgery too in subsequent relevant posts and social media messages for the same. Do share and join the cause.

    Inspirational Video- 1

    Here’s an inspirational video highlighting few less known aspects of Plastic Surgery (uploaded by Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh on 20 Aug 2012 in Youtube.)

    I hope this video served as your today’s dose of inspiration, but as you know, the general population (including physicians and surgeons of other specialties) around you are still largely unaware of the progress made in the field of Plastic and Reconstructive Microsurgery. So, help us spread the word by sharing with everyone as far as possible.

    Thank you.

    What is Plastic Surgery?
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