Plastic Surgery: Is It Really Plastic?

Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Nearby Areas of Arizona

The title of this blog may seem silly, but it’s actually a question that is asked more often then you think. What many people may not realize is the term “plastic” surgery is not derived from using plastic to restore or enhance a person’s facial or bodily form. The “plastic” in plastic surgery really comes from the Greek word “plastikos,” which means to “mold or shape.”

Dr. Ali and Dr. Tamir Mosharrafa have dedicated their time and passion to refining and enhancing the appearance of men and women with cosmetic surgery. The team at Mosharrafa Plastic Surgery hopes to address where the term “plastic surgery” came from and if the art form genuinely requires “plastic.”

The answer to the latter part of that question is essentially “yes”, but only in some cases. For some reconstructive and cosmetic surgeries, human cadavers or muscle, skin and tissue from the patient him/herself is used to perform the procedure. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, plastic surgery goes as far back as 2000 B.C. and in ancient India and Egypt, skin from the amputated body parts of criminals was used to preform nasal reconstructions.

Plastic wouldn’t be used for surgeries until well after it’s inception in 1907. Now, the use of synthetic polymers (plastics) for surgeries have become increasingly useful, especially for surgeons trying to replace tissues that have been lost or damaged. The use of plastic is also incredibly helpful for surgeries designed to “augment” or enhance a particular part of the body or face.

Breast implants are made of either saline or silicone (both are properties of plastic) and are using to enhance or enlarge the appearance of a woman’s breasts. Plastic may also be used during a rhinoplasty if adequate cartilage is not readily available.

Although breast implants are the best known, plastic is also used to rebuild certain facial bones. Computerized tomographic (CT) scans can be administered to provide images of the face’s skeletal structure, which may benefit from plastic facial implants if it’s been damaged from trauma or has deteriorated from old age. Regardless, plastic materials as well as human tissue and skin are used to replace, reconstruct and rejuvenate parts of the body. So, yes plastic is used in plastic surgery, but so are other materials!

If you wish to set up a consultation with one of our surgeons, please do not hesitate to call us at our Phoenix location. We are easily accessible and here to help. Call us now at (602) 513-8133.

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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