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Cosmetic Surgery

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Cosmetic Surgery

Around the early 1920's the first cosmetic surgeries were performed on actresses such as Fanny Brice and Barbra Streisand (Haiken 1). Cosmetic surgery has become a very popular surgery in the 2000's. Teens are the most controversial new category of plastic surgery patients (Alagna 6). Although teens are not in the majority of those who get cosmetic surgery, more teens are getting cosmetic surgery than ever before (Alagna 6). Although surgery may seem like it's a good idea, that is not always true due to many health risks.

Modern surgeons trace their history to India, where, as early as 600 B.C.(Haiken 4). Plastic surgeons also claim kinship with Gasparo Tagliacozzi of Bologna, Italy, who is often credited as the "father of modern plastic surgery." (Haiken 5). Sometime between 1586 and before World War I, plastic surgery was "lost." During World War I plastic surgery was "reborn," as an art and a profession; even then is was a medical response to the medical emergency of modern warfare (Haiken 5). After World War I, plastic surgeons organized professional societies, negotiated the boundaries of their specialty, and then attempted to control its image and parameters (Haiken 5-6).

Largely in response to market demand, plastic surgeons moved to incorporate cosmetic surgical techniques and concerns into their specialty and by doing so created an entirely new range of optional medical treatments that were available for purchase (Haiken 6). Equally important is that in doing so they both ratified and reified the medicalized and psychologized culture of twentieth-century America (Haiken 6). Early in the twentieth century, the interrelated processes of industrialization, urbanization, and immigration transformed the United States from a predominantly rural culture, in which identity was firmly grounded in family and locale, to a predominantly urban culture, in which identity derives form "personality" or self-presentation (Haiken 7).

The society that would become the American Association of Plastic Surgeons was founded in 1921 as a direct result of war (Haiken 18). What linked these men together, despite their diverse training, was their common interest and their experience in reconstructive surgery during World War I. Almost all the original members had worked in various medical establishments that had been founded to address the needs of facially mutilated soldiers (Haiken 18). These members had received their training in numerous areas and were listed in the Year Book Of The American College of Surgeons under various headings (Haiken 18). But in 1921, plastic surgery had not yet had an significant impact on American culture (Haiken 18).

Sometimes cosmetic surgery convinces teens that its alright to have cosmetic surgery done with no risks involved. Television always shows the good effects of cosmetic surgery to convince teens to do it. Many teens are not aware that people performing cosmetic surgery are not experienced in doing them (Winkler 28). Thus, if something goes wrong they have no idea why. And sometimes people put all their hopes in the operation and some are disappointed because of unrealistic expectations. Which may cause them to develop mental illnesses (Alagna 34).Outpatients are subjected to have far more complications than patients that choose to stay at a hospital (Alagna 34). I believe this is because people that make contact in the outside world rather than stay in a sterile environment, are more susceptible of infection or death.

Pressure from the media and celebrities convinces teens that they can't look good unless they have no flaws ( Alagna 14). Obviously celebrities are role models to teens and even though its not their fault, I think its wrong that they are unintentionally manipulating teens into making them think that they have to be perfect.

For over 80 years, cosmetic surgery has increased by massive amounts. Nearly 1 million Americans went under operations in 1971, compared to 15,000 people in 1949 (Cooke Macgregor 160). Since 2004, fat injections have increased by 56 % and ablative skin resurfacing by 51% (United States National Library of Medicine). In 2005, there were 324,000 liposuction cosmetic procedures and 298,000 nose shaping (United States National Library of Medicine).

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