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Plastic Surgery

Plastic Surgery is a surgical specialty that repairs, restores or remodels parts of the body, especially by the transfer of tissue. It originates from the ancient Greek word “Plastikos” which means “able to be shaped or molded”. Although nasal surgery was mentioned in the Hieroglyphics, the earliest known treatise on the subject was written by an Indian called Susruta in approximately 600 BC. These texts were translated into Arabic and eventually were incorporated into surgical practices of the Roman Empire by Aegineta. Plastic surgery then seems to have gone into recession until the Renaissance, when nasal reconstruction became re-established, finally appearing in the famous text of Tagliacozzi in Venice, 16th century AD. However the lack of anaesthesia and antisepsis meant that little progress was made until their introduction in the 19th century. Harold Gilles is generally credited as being the farther of modern plastic surgery, due to his incredible advances in reconstructing war wounds suffered by soldiers in WW1. The 20th century saw a breath-taking evolution of plastic surgery, the discussion of which would be a treatise in itself. Though it started as a means of restoring form and function of damaged body parts, it has now evolved to the point of being reliable able to improve the aesthetics of normal body parts, hence the birth of cosmetic (aesthetic) surgery.
Plastic surgery relates to surgically changing form to restore or improve function while simultaneously respecting the aesthetic outcome. Aesthetic consideration plays a significant, but not exclusive role, in plastic surgery. Examples include: repair a cleft lip, replacing badly scarred skin resulting from burns, making a new thumb following amputation, making a new breast after mastectomy, restoring the face after a motor vehicle accident etc.

Reconstructive surgery

Reconstructive surgery specifically refers to restoring damaged anatomy to its original form. Examples include repairing cut tendons of the hand, or rebuilding the face damaged by cancer or trauma etc.

Cosmetic surgery

Cosmetic surgery has evolved from plastic surgery. Here the emphasis is purely aesthetics. One aims to improve the original form to make it more beautiful. Examples include facelift, breast augmentation liposuction etc.
To cover the range of service provided, the title of plastic surgeon has been expanded in many quarters to be “plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic (or cosmetic) surgeon. Hence the European Board’s title for fully accredited plastic surgeons is Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, (EBOPRAS).

Plastic Surgeons

Plastic Surgeons are specialist surgeons who have completed the required training and examinations in plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery. This equates to approximately 8-10 years of additional surgical training after basic medical qualifications. Dr Sylaidis has done 10 years; 2 ½ years in general surgery training (Australia), 6 years plastic surgery training in the UK plus 1 ½ years of sub-specialty fellowships in head and neck and cranio-facial reconstruction in France and Australia.
It is worth noting that there has recently come into being, a body of medical practitioners who call themselves Cosmetic Surgeons, without having undergone the rigor of formal plastic surgical training and accreditation. They may be General Practitioners who have done non-accredited training in some of the cosmetic techniques or other types of surgeons who have decided to sidestep their own specialty and enter into this field. There is also a body of cosmetic surgeons that call themselves Facial Plastic Surgeons, this unfortunately misleads patients into thinking that they are qualified plastic surgeons, which they are not. This is not to say that the above surgeons cannot or should not perform cosmetic surgery, it is simply being highlighted that there are distinctions to be made between the levels of training that lies behind these titles. This confusing situation need not cause our patients alarm as Dr Peter Sylaidis is a fully qualified specialist in plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.


PLASTIC SURGERY AND COSMETIC SURGERY in Adelaide. Dr Peter Sylaidis - Accredited Plastic Surgeon and Cosmetic Surgeon -- © Sylaidis Plastic Surgery 2009 - Adelaide, South Australia