We have all heard the phrase “beauty is only skin deep”, but, how far is one willing to go to make themselves appear beautiful? Even though cosmetic surgeries are performed to correct medical conditions, increasing numbers of cosmetic surgeries are largely due to people of all age groups desire to change their physical appearance.
Cosmetic surgery was introduced in the United States as early as the 19th century. In 1827, the very first procedure in America was to repair a cleft palate performed by a Dr. John Peter Mettauer, a plastic surgeon whom designed his own tools. (Wikipedia, 2008). World War I brought a surge of cosmetic surgeries to be performed for those who suffered facial injuries. By World War II, surgeons were better prepared to take on more specialized procedures such as severe burns. They were able to reconstruct and reshape facial and body disfigurements due to wartime fighting.
The purpose of cosmetic surgery has clearly changed over time. Although many surgeons perform cosmetic surgery for necessary medical situations such as birth defects or traumatic injuries, alternatives are plastic surgery that pertains to personal enhancements and the reconstruction of body parts to improve appearance or function and reconstructive surgery that usually is performed on abnormal parts of the body for repair caused by reasons such as congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, some infections, trauma, tumors or disease. Cosmetic surgery has become an accessible option for modern cosmetic surgeries to be performed on men and women of all ages as an elective to change or reshape normal features of the body that they do not like.