The history of plastic surgery goes as far back as 2000 B.C. In India and Egypt, ancient physicians practiced some of the most rudimentary forms of plastic surgery. According to a 1994 article in the Washington Post by Thomas V. DiBacco, reeds were used in Egyptian nose reconstruction to keep the nostrils open as the nose healed. In 600 B.C., the Indian doctor Acharya Sushrut published the Sushruta Samhita, a collection of medical texts about plastic surgery, the first of its kind in ancient history.
In another part of the world, plastic surgery also experienced its earliest developments. Around the first century B.C., Roman physicians practiced early beginnings of surgical methods to alter the body. With a culture that highly valued the physique and beauty of the natural human body, ancient Roman doctors operated on former gladiators whose bodies and faces had become severely damaged. At this time, Roman medical writer Aulus Cornelius Celsus wrote "De Medicina," which outlined some of the methods used in the practice of breast reduction and reconstruction of the ears, lips and noses - another important early text for plastic surgery.
"Despite its rocky historical past, plastic surgery is a growing multi-billion industry."
After the fall of Rome at the end of the third century A.D., the progress of plastic surgery appears to have stalled for several hundred years. During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the spread of Christianity forbade any kind of surgical changes to the body, as dictated by Pope Innocent III.
Then, in the late 1500s, a breakthrough in plastic surgery occurred. In Sicily, Italy, Gasparo Tagliacozzi experimented with skin grafts for nose reconstructive surgery. However, Tagliacozzi's progress was hindered by the influence of the Church. In addition, the technology of general anesthesia was still in its earliest stages at this time, which made any plastic surgery attempts extremely painful.