Aging and Plastic surgery through the decades

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A common thought process among most people irrespective of their cultural differences is how to look young? People valuing youthful appearance take measures like exercise, proper diet plan, visiting cosmetic/plastic surgeon etc. Aging in humans refers to a multidimensional process of physical, psychological, and social change. The term “aging” is somewhat confusing. The type of aging which is of concern to plastic surgeon is mostly called “biological aging”. Aging and Plastic surgery through the decadesPlastic Surgery is a medical specialty that deals with both the form and function of different parts of body. We can classify plastic surgery into two major categories Cosmetic surgery and Reconstructive surgery: cosmetic surgery is that branch that deals with improving the shape of some areas in the body as Rhinoplasty(nose job), tummy tuck, face lift and breast augmentation or reduction. Reconstructive surgery on the other hand is the branch which deals with building up missed tissues either from trauma or birth defects.

The ancient Egyptians and Romans performed plastic cosmetic surgery. The next progress in that field was concomitant with the development of anesthesia where elective procedures are less painful. However, because of the dangers associated with surgery in any form, especially that involving the head or face, it was not until the 19th and 20th centuries that such surgery became common. In World War I, a New Zealand otolaryngologist working in London, Harold Gillies, developed many of the techniques of modern plastic surgery in caring for soldiers suffering from disfiguring facial injuries. His work was expanded upon during World War II by his cousin and former student Archibald McIndoe, who pioneered treatments for Royal air force aircrew suffering from severe burns. Aesthetic plastic surgery techniques involving different parts of body had evolved with time specially in the last decade resulting in more precise and better results, In the past facial wrinkles and folds were only treated by a surgery named “face lift”, nowadays a combination of noninvasive procedures like fillers, Botox Aging and Plastic surgery through the decadesinjections and the use of certain threads would achieve a comparable results. Obesity was a major problem in the past and surgery was the only solution. Now a plastic surgery procedure named “liposuction” would remove fat from undesired places resulting in fine sculptured body .This procedure is very safe and its downtime is shorter than before because of the presence of new technological suction machines using laser and ultrasonic technology. The interpretation between doctors and patients requesting rhinoplasty is one of major concern for both parties, with the presence of three dimensional cameras and evolution of digital photography the patient may be seeing a very near result to what her nose would be like after surgery. The presence of a scar could be a stigma that may affect the whole life of a patient . Management of surgical scars had a great improvement with the development of new medications and the utilization of laser technology in its treatment. This had made the acceptance of surgical scar for the patient an easier process. The world is taking its very first steps towards an area of plastic surgery called transplantation where replacement of new skin, muscles, nerves and most body organs using fresh cadaveric similar structures could be feasible.


Aging and Plastic surgery through the decadesThe face transplantation case that happened in France will pave the road for similar and even more research for this new era.
Some people use the following description to classify the age of human being: Juvenile [teens]: 0-19, Early adulthood: 20-39 [Twenties and Thirties], Middle adulthood: 40-59[Forties and Fifties], Late adulthood: 60+ [sixties]. Teens are self-conscious about their physical differences, this is also the period with appearance of acne that could be troublesome . Plastic surgeons could be of great help at this period as they can provide a lot of solutions as regard skin care, laser procedures and this would help teens to concentrate on more important issues in life by having a balanced healthy activity with good self-esteem. Twenties and Thirties are the period where lot of young people meets new persons at faculty and work. The concern of how their look have on others is crucial especially females, whether it’s an abnormal nose, big ears, small or large breasts, or skin quality. Plastic surgery can modify the nose, adjust the ears, and increase or decrease the size of the breast . Plastic surgeons can provide sculpturing procedures as liposuction, tummy tuck, breast augmentation and reduction. Forties and Fifties are the major concern specially for mothers as this is the age where wrinkles begin to appear around eyes , cheeks are not full rounded anymore, a little sagging in certain areas doesn’t make wearing a bikini affordable. Plastic surgery would do the job here by using a little fill and pull techniques as fat injections, breast lift and Botox injections. At the sixties people have a lot of time at hand, people may be travelling and those who had no wrinkles before shows its beginning with some abnormal fat distribution and tired skin. Lots of people feel great and want to look great, so they take the decision of having a plastic surgery procedure. We should remember that both the body and soul should be at their best to attain happiness which is a life lasting wish by all human being.

DR. Khalid el Sherbini

Specialist Plastic Surgery Gulf Medical University

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