Plastic Surgery Throughout History

Plastic surgery has a unique history in the medical world, and has been important to society as we know it since the late 1800s. To follow is brief timeline outlining important events in plastic surgery over time. 1890s

  • 1895 marked the first documented breast augmentation to correct asymmetry of breasts. Tissue was removed from the patients back and transplanted to the smaller breast.
  • In Japan, paraffin, beeswax and vegetable oil are injected into breasts to enhance size. This was done to attract American servicemen who were believed to be more attracted to women with larger breasts.


  • Skin grafting is explored, practiced and expanded to becoming a viable technique for treating wounded soldiers.
  • A demand for plastic surgeons emerged as the United States entered the First World War, more training facilities are established.
  • In 1924 the first formal training fellowship for plastic surgery is developed at Johns Hopkins, naming Dr. John Davis the first professor of plastic surgery.
  • By 1925, plastic surgery became its own division at a public hospital in New York.


  • The American Board of Plastic Surgery is founded in 1937.
  • Standards of excellence are set by board for plastic surgeons to adhere to.
  • Technological advancements are made for the treatment of burn victims who are injured during combat. Dermatome is invented, revolutionizing the way plastic surgeons performed skin grafts.


  • World War Two combat causes plastic surgeons to explore craniofacial plastic surgery advancements to repair soldiers with facial wounds and deformities from trench warfare.
  • Hand surgery becomes a sub-specialty of plastic surgery when Dr. Sterling Bunnell combined his skills of general and orthopedic surgical techniques.


  • Advancements are made in cleft palate repair.
  • The first live organ transplant was performed by a plastic surgeon, Dr. Joseph Murray who later earned a Nobel Price in 1990 for his work.


  • In 1962, the first silicone-gel filled breast implant premiers.
  • In 1969, a plastic surgeon is appointed U.S. Surgeon General.


  • Advancements in skin and muscle flap methods greatly expand what plastic surgeons are able to achieve for multiple procedures, including reconstructive and cosmetic.


  • Paving the way for reconstructive breast surgery, the TRAMP flap technique is developed. This greatly changed the way plastic surgeons reconstructed breasts after mastectomy.
  • In 1982, liposuction is offered in the United States.


  • From 1990, to 1999, approximately 1.2 million reconstructive procedures are performed annually.
  • In the same decade, approximately 1 million cosmetic procedures are performed annually.
  • In 1992 the FDA places a moratorium on silicone breast implants and restricts their use to reconstructive purposes only.
  • During the 1990s, saline breast implants are the only available option for cosmetic breast augmentation.


  • Body contouring techniques are developed to restore bodies after extreme weight loss.
  • Reducing risk, scarring and recovery time, the endoscope is introduced to plastic surgery.
  • Plastic Surgery in Oklahoma City

For more information about procedures we offer, contact us today to schedule your consultation. Dr. Sawan proudly serves Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas. We look forward to helping you achieve your ideal look!

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.