03 Nov

The “Plastic” Behind Plastic Surgery

plastic surgery2The term “plastic surgery” might initially raise a few red flags if you assume that the “plastic” is along the lines of Tupperware or a cheap children’s toy, but it’s quite the contrary. The term plastic originated from the Greek word plastikos, meaning “to mold.” Plastic surgery’s main role is actually to repair the body from trauma and defects by reconstructing normal appearance and restoring original function.

An Italian named Gaspare Tagliacozzi said it best: “We restore, repair, and make whole those parts…which fortune has taken away, not so much that they may delight the eye, but that they may buoy up the spirit and help the mind of the afflicted.” The first objective of plastic surgery is repair and reconstruction. Common surgeries include breast reconstruction, burn repair, cleft palate repair, hand surgery, and scar revision operation. This blend of art and science began as an answer to the awful injuries soldiers sustained during the World War I while doctors sought innovative solutions to traumas never previously seen. It was finally recognized that tissue from other places in the body could be utilized to close wounds and restore normal appearance and function. This led to years of refining techniques and procedures. Even today, doctors are still discovering other previously unknown applications of plastic surgery.

Cosmetic surgery, on the other hand, has surged in popularity in recent years, but it is not the same as plastic surgery. Cosmetic surgery is one category of plastic surgery that requires additional training in order to become a certified professional. Any certified plastic surgeon is required to complete a 5 year residency after medical school. Training specific to cosmetic surgery occurs afterward in a post-residency fellowship that requires training in 6 main categories and 300 successful cases in order to graduate.

Either way, your doctor has been through extensive training and is prepared to complete your procedure to perfection!

Dr. William W. Adams MD

Plastic Surgeon at Dr. William W. Adams MD
Dr. William Adams is a serious surgeon. After stints in San Francisco, Portland, Oregon and Little Rock, Arkansas, he established his practice in St. Petersburg in 1995. For his internship and residency, he chose the prestigious Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, in large part because the program allowed him to immediately concentrate on plastic surgery. Find out more about Dr. Adams on Google + and Facebook