What is plastic surgery?


It is a specialized branch of Surgery that is specifically in charge of correcting deformities of the skin and of the musculoskeletal structures, which support the skin. In other words, Plastic Surgery treats the deformities of soft parts and bone structures that have been deformed by injuries, diseases or tumors, or by congenital conditions.

plastic surgery valero

Its origins are rooted in ancient times, in India, at a time when criminals were punished by nose amputation. The first surgeons in memory were not doctors, but barbers. Faced with the need to reconstruct the amputated nose, a new activity was developed, necessary in those times, to rehabilitate these people, operating on the skin of the forehead to use it as a cover to remake the amputated nose.

An Italian family, later, becomes famous for their great skill and creativity in rebuilding noses; then more barbers appear operating noses, and this new trade flourishes in the Renaissance. Over the years, Surgery finds its way into the field of Medicine, and wars give a new advance to the knowledge and techniques of Surgery. At the beginning of the 20th century, the era of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery begins, that is, not a Surgery of War.

It begins with the aesthetic modeling of the nose, then the face, and later the chest, and the abdomen. For the first time, this discipline is named Plastic, and it is given this name because it is derived from the Greek word Plastikós which means to model.

World War I and II give a further advance to modern surgery, due to the great need to save lives and assist war patients. Anesthesia is created, and both the sterilization of instruments and blood transfusions are improved, whilst the use of antibiotics begins, all of which marks the Surgery on a level where the concern does not regard only safety, but which seek to offer less pain and reduce the deaths from infection as well. The two branches of modern Plastic Surgery, Aesthetic, and Reconstructive, find convergence in the Modern Plastic Surgeon.

Among us Plastic Surgeons, there are those who are purely aesthetic, and those who are purely reconstructive, according to the taste and sensitivity of each one, and due to the influences of the hospital where we train, in our training period. There are those of us who are both reconstructive and aesthetic. In general, those Plastics who work full time in an Institution tend to be more reconstructive; and those who work in the private sphere tend to be more aesthetic, although there is a balance between the two branches in the Mexican Plastic Surgeon. There are so many branches of Plastic Surgery today in this 21st century, that it is difficult for us to dedicate ourselves to all of them in our practice. In general, three or four areas predominate in our daily activity, and there are so many of us that even if a surgeon doesn’t cover one of them, someone else will do it. The Modern Branches of Plastic Surgery are currently multiple and include the surgical treatment of multiple types and areas of deformities in the human organism.

Here are some of the most important areas:

  • Reconstructive Surgery

  • Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

  • Pediatric Plastic Surgery

  • Hand Surgery

  • Lip and Palate Surgery

  • Burn Surgery

  • Craniofacial surgery

  • Maxillofacial Surgery 

  • Gender Reassignment Surgery

  • Microsurgery for Replantation and Transplantation

  • Tissue Expanders Surgery

  • Laser Surgery

  • Hair Transplantation Surgery

  • Plastic and Reconstructive Endoscopic Surgery

  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery after Massive Weight Reduction (Post-Bariatric Surgery)



Updated: 2020-10-07


Graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma (UNAM), he is certified by the CMCPER and a member of the AMCPER.

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