Why Plastic Surgery Called Plastic?

Why Plastic Surgery Called Plastic?

Plastic surgery can be used to reconstruct a person’s face and body after an accident, cancerous tumor removal or other disfiguring event.

Have you ever wondered why plastic surgery is called “plastic”? It’s not because plastic materials are involved in the procedure. In fact, the term has a surprising origin that dates back centuries. So, grab a cup of coffee and join us on this fascinating journey to unravel the mystery behind why plastic surgery is named after a synthetic material!

What is Plastic Surgery?

Plastic surgery is a medical specialty that deals with the repair, reconstruction, or replacement of physical defects of form or function involving the skin, musculoskeletal system, craniofacial structures, hand, extremities, breast and trunk, and external genitalia. It includes cosmetic or aesthetic surgery, which is elective.

The word “plastic” in plastic surgery comes from the Greek word plastikos meaning “to mold” or “to shape.” Plastic surgeons use their skills to improve patients’ appearances and self-esteem by correcting physical deformities and improving their functional abilities.

While plastic surgery is often considered elective or cosmetic, there are many types of plastic surgery that are performed to correct birth defects or traumatic injuries. Plastic surgery can be used to reconstruct a person’s face and body after an accident, cancerous tumor removal or other disfiguring event.

Origin of the Term “Plastic” as it Relates to Surgery

The term “plastic” as it relates to surgery originated in the late 19th century. At that time, surgeries were performed on patients who had lost body parts due to accidents or diseases. In order to restore the function of the lost body part, surgeons would use materials that could be molded or shaped into the desired form. These materials included ivory, glass, metal and rubber.

Over time, the material most commonly used for this purpose became known as “plastic.” The use of the term “plastic” has become so widespread in modern surgery that it is now used to describe not only reconstructive surgeries, but also cosmetic procedures.

Types of Plastic Surgery

From Botox to breast implants, plastic surgery is no longer just for the wealthy and famous. More and more people are opting for cosmetic procedures to improve their appearance. But why is it called plastic surgery?

The word “plastic” comes from the Greek word “plastikos,” which means “to mold or shape.” Plastic surgery gets its name from the fact that it involves molding or shaping the body to improve appearance.

There are many different types of plastic surgery procedures, ranging from relatively simple procedures like Botox injections to more complex surgeries like facial implants or rhinoplasty. Some people opt for plastic surgery to correct a physical deformity, while others simply want to improve their appearance.

Whether you’re considering a minor procedure like Botox or a major operation like breast augmentation, it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable surgeon. Plastic surgery can be safe and effective when performed by a qualified surgeon.

Why is Plastic Surgery Called “Plastic”?

The term “plastic surgery” may seem strange to some, as the word “plastic” typically refers to a synthetic material rather than a medical procedure. However, the word “plastic” in the context of plastic surgery actually has a different meaning.

The term “plastic” comes from the Greek word “plastikos,” which means “to mold” or “to shape.” Plastic surgery, therefore, is a surgical specialty that involves reshaping or molding tissue in the body to improve its appearance or function.

The term “plastic surgery” was first used in the early 19th century by German surgeon Karl Ferdinand von Graefe. At the time, the term “plastic” was already being used in other medical fields to describe procedures that involved molding or reshaping tissue. Von Graefe expanded on this concept by applying it specifically to surgery of the face.

Over time, the field of plastic surgery has evolved to encompass a wide range of procedures, including breast augmentations, liposuction, and facelifts, among others. While the term “plastic surgery” may still sound strange to some, it has become a widely accepted term for a medical specialty that has helped countless individuals improve their appearance and quality of life.

In summary, the term “plastic surgery” is derived from the Greek word “plastikos,” meaning “to mold” or “to shape.” The term was first used in the early 19th century to describe surgery of the face, and has since evolved to encompass a wide range of procedures designed to reshape or mold tissue in the body.

Pros of Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery has become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more people opting to enhance their appearance through various procedures. While there are certainly risks and downsides to consider, there are also many pros to plastic surgery that should be taken into account. Here are some of the top benefits of undergoing plastic surgery.

Enhancing Your Appearance
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of plastic surgery is the ability to enhance your appearance. Procedures such as breast augmentations, nose jobs, and facelifts can all improve the look of your body and help you feel more confident in your own skin.

Correcting Physical Imperfections

Plastic surgery can also be used to correct physical imperfections that may be causing health issues or discomfort. For example, rhinoplasty can correct a deviated septum, while breast reduction can alleviate back pain caused by large breasts.

Boosting Your Confidence
When you feel good about the way you look, it can have a positive impact on your confidence levels. Plastic surgery can help you achieve the appearance you desire, which can in turn boost your self-esteem and help you feel more comfortable in social situations.

Improving Mental Health

In some cases, plastic surgery can even improve mental health. Individuals who have struggled with body dysmorphia or other mental health issues related to their appearance may find relief through plastic surgery. In fact, a study published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found that patients who underwent plastic surgery experienced significant improvements in mental health and overall quality of life.

Reversing the Effects of Aging
Finally, plastic surgery can be used to reverse the effects of aging. Procedures such as facelifts and eyelid surgery can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin, making you look and feel younger.

Overall, there are many pros to plastic surgery that make it a viable option for those looking to enhance their appearance or correct physical imperfections. As with any medical procedure, it’s important to carefully consider the risks and benefits and work with a qualified surgeon to achieve the best possible results.

Cost of Plastic Surgery

The cost of plastic surgery can be quite expensive. This is because the procedures are often very complex and require special equipment. Additionally, plastic surgeons often have to pay for specialized training in order to perform the procedures.

The cost of plastic surgery can range from a few hundred dollars for simple procedures to tens of thousands for more complex ones. Furthermore, the cost can vary based on the type of surgery, the geographical area, and other factors.


To conclude, plastic surgery is a life changing and often necessary medical procedure that has been around for many years. As we have seen in this article, the term “plastic” was originally derived from Ancient Greek words meaning to mold or form an object by pliability of means. Today, plastic surgery involves techniques far beyond what could be done back then; but at its core remains the same concept of reshaping or correcting the body with either implants or other methods.