Plastic Surgery

Plastic Surgery Then and Now
Douglas Harrison

Plastic surgery has a surprisingly long and remarkable history.

One would imagine that it started 20 years ago on the boulevards of Beverly Hills, turning back the hands of time with breast implants and facelifts, however plastic surgery reaches back to approximately 700 BC. It beganwhen doctors in Ancient India performed skin grafts for reconstructive work. During the time of the Ancient Roman Empire plastic surgerywas used on freed slaves to remove the brandings and scars they received while serving their masters. The gladiators, “pin ups” of their day, were also patients of plastic surgeons because of the wounds inflicted on them while they were battling in the arena. WorldWar I Plastic surgery came of age because of necessity as a result of the dreadful carnage on the fronts of the FirstWorldWar, from 1914-1918, where millions of soldiers had to be treated for their various injuries. Because of the nature of trench warfare, soldiers’ heads and faces were particularly affected.

Pioneer Gillies
Sir Harold Gillies, considered the father of plastic surgerywas born in 1882, and studied
medicine at Cambridge University. He was a pioneer of facial reconstructive surgery for the horrifically injured soldiers coming back from war. He, along with his colleagues, performed over 11,000 operations at The Queen’s Hospital at Frognal House near Sidcup, Kent. This was the birth of plastic surgery, aswe knowit today. At this point plastic surgery was primarily aimed at correcting disfigurements and restoring impaired functions, as opposed
to improving one’s physical appearance.

The Next Generations
Gillieswent on to train and then workwith the next generation of the top three plastic surgeons, Tommy Kilner, Rainsford Mowlem, and Archibald McIndoe. In the 1930s, Kilner developed the "pushback" procedure, which is used to correct cleft palates, a common cosmetic abnormality. RainsfordMowlempractised at St. Albans, north London. Archibald McIndoe practised at the Queen Victoria Hospital and pioneered techniques used on aircrewsuffering fromsevere burns. Their trainees, Ivo Pitanguy of Brazil, and Thomas Rees of New York, led the way in the industry during the 1950s and 60s. Rees was a student of the pioneering McIndoe at East Grinstead. Pitanguy,who also studied under Gillies and McIndoe, is one of Brazil’s leading cosmetic surgeons having worked on people like Sophia Loren.

Mr DouglasHarrison
Today, Douglas Harrison, following in his father’s footsteps, is the leading pioneer in the industry. He specifically developed Bells-Palsy and Facial-Palsy reconstruction, which is a very sophisticated type of surgery involving cross-facial nerve grafts. He has published over 68 papers and has lectured to about 80 learned societies. Mr Harrison was the Consultant Plastic Surgeon for Mount Vernon Hospital Northwood, Middlesex from1979 till 2006. Itwas atMountVernonwhereMrHarrison along withMrNoelThompson first pioneered facial corrective surgery in the 1970s. Mr Harrison also practised microvascular surgery, which is used to reattach severed fingers, hands, arms and other amputated parts back to the body by reconnecting the small blood vessels and restoring the circulation before the tissue starts to die. He first learned this technique studying under Harold Kleinert in Kentucky, USA whilst learning how to deal with hand traumas.

Mr. Harrison performs a number of cosmetic procedures as well, including facelifts, endoscopic brow lifts, eyelid reductions, breast augmentations and reductions, abdominoplasties, liposuctions, calf and gluteal implants, for women who want just a little bit more in the rear. He is most famous for his widely sought-after endoscopic brow lifts and facelifts. The most expensive procedure is his two hour-long facelift.He also does breast augmentations and eyelid reductions. Mr. Harrison explained thatmostwomen tend to go for facelifts fromthe age of 48 and upward, while MACS lifts are common at a younger age. For the most part, the time taken to perform a procedure directly relates to its cost. Also,Mr.Harrison does say he thinks Botox is very successful, but is not a fan of laser treatments. Mr.Harrison said, “Reconstructive surgery is technically more demanding whereas cosmetic surgery gives great pleasure to the patient, makes them feel better about themselves and enhances their quality of life.”

TEL: 020 7580 7555
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