What is Plastic Surgery?

Taken from the Greek word "plastikos," meaning to mold or give form, plastic surgery is the specialty of medicine dedicated to restoring and reshaping the human body. It encompasses both reconstructive surgery, which is performed on abnormal structures of the body caused by birth defects, developmental problems, injuries, infection, tumors, or disease; and cosmetic surgery, which is performed to reshape or restore normal structures of the body to improve appearance and self-esteem.

History suggests that the practice of plastic surgery has ancient roots. However, plastic surgery as a defined specialty became fully recognized during World War I. Today, scientific advances in the field allow plastic surgeons to achieve improvements in form and function thought to be impossible 10 years ago.