Plastic Surgery Advances In Wartime
Plastic Surgery Born Out Of War
The first reconstructive procedure dates back to 800 BC, with skin grafts in India. There wasn’t any consistent progress in plastic surgery until World War I. During World War I, physicians were treating many extensive facial and head injuries, including shattered jaws, blown-off noses and lips and gaping skull wounds caused by modern weapons. These injuries required innovative restorative procedures. Plastic Surgery as a specialty was born out of World War I. War has been the driving force behind most plastic surgery developments and plastic surgery continues to see advancements from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Plastic surgeons now face the challenges created by today’s weaponry and as a result there are advances in facial reconstruction. As weapons change, injuries will change and advancements in plastic surgery will continue to accelerated during wartime.
Plastic surgery is a specialty that, unfortunately, always makes significant advances in wartime
Walter Yeo is a WWI soldier that was wounded in 1916 while manning guns aboard a Warship. He suffered the loss of both his upper and lower eyelids. He is considered one of the first plastic surgery patients, treated by Sir Harold Gilles in 1917.
Cosmetic Surgery for Military Dependents and Soldiers
Military plastic surgeons are allowed to perform cosmetic surgery so they can maintain their skills. When Plastic surgeons get out of the military they need to be able to perform cosmetic as well as reconstructive surgery to be competitive with civilian plastic surgeons. Allowing plastic surgeons to maintain their cosmetic skills also encourages them to enter the military. Plastic surgeons are needed in the military to perform reconstruction of many injuries that are sustained from war and accidents. Some military personnel and their dependents are able to have cosmetic procedures performed at teaching hospitals at a substantially reduced cost, because residents at teaching hospitals must meet their national training standards. Military Doctors in residency training to be Plastic Surgeons must complete a certain case load in cosmetic surgery including cosmetic procedures such as breast implant cases to graduate their training programs. There is typcially a waiting list for cosmetic surgery at military hospitals, reconstructive and other more needed surgeries take priority. The waiting list for cosmetic surgery at a teaching hospital can be booked out 2 – 3 years, and there are many that never receive any cosmetic surgery .
Plastic Surgery Is A Growing Trend In Iraq
Interest in plastic surgery began to grow in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. This is due in part to the return of surgeons who had previously fled Iraq. Another factor is exposure to pop culture through the availability of international satellite television. In the past, people in Iraq were isolated from pop culture.
One of Baghdad’s plastic surgeons averages about 20 cosmetic surgeries a week. The majority of the plastic surgeries in Iraq are reconstructive, treating injuries from war and are performed in government run hospitals. Increasingly popular, cosmetic surgeries are done in private hospitals and patient need to supply their own implants and even Botox.