Who was the First Plastic Surgeon?

Plastic surgery – the name implies an artificial substance – but it is derived from the Greek word “Plastikos” which means to mold or to give form. An important specialty has been taking shape, one that reshapes the lives of patients. So who was the first plastic surgeon?

John Staige Davis was the first plastic surgeon. He played an important role not only at his council group in Hopkins but also in the United States in the plastic surgery. He limited his practice in the field of plastic surgery in those times. He was the only plastic surgeon who was there when World War I took place.

Dr. John Staige Davis

In 1991, Dr. Davis published the first English language textbook of plastic surgery and it is still used today. He sends copies to medical school founder, doctors and at that time no one acknowledged receiving it. And though plastic surgery at Hopkins would not gain the standard they deserved until the next century, Dr. Davis was helping to build the foundation for the entire discipline of plastic surgery in America.

He used to pioneer the transferring tissue techniques known as “Z- plasty” and the use of small deep grafts to heal chronic wounds. He was the founding member of The American Board of Surgery and The American Board of Plastic surgery. Dr. Davis’s work and reputation starts Hopkins on its way to becoming a crossroad and destination for the country’s best plastic surgeons.

In 1942, John Staige Davis was part-time faculty member and was running a plastic clinic even though he was in his 70s by then and beyond his retirement age, two years from then a forth year medical student at Hopkins had the chance observe the master surgeon doing a cleft lip repair.

His successor Dr. Edgerton graduates and proceeds to work by joining the army and was serving at Valley Forge General Hospital in Pennsylvania. He was one of the few surgeon treating thousands of men coming back from combat with disfiguring wounds and burns needing plastic surgery. This horrendous war injuries united skill surgeon in their desire to heal wounded soldiers. This dynamic gave raise to a new and important speciality in medicine.

Dr. Edgerton

With the scientific foundation and tissue regeneration, transplantation, and stem cell biology plastic surgery is uniquely poised to make the next major advance in medicine. By regenerating or replacing missing body parts, plastic surgery can transform patients life in ways that could not have been imagined only recently.

John Staige Davis didn’t lived to see plastic surgery receive the recognition and support if required and deserved in the world. But his path-breaking work and clear vision allowed a greater dream to be realized.

INTRODUCTION TO THE BONES AND JOINTS

Our human body can be compared to a machine in terms of its functioning, but the magnanimous human can perform extremely better than a machine. As there are many nuts and bolts to connect many parts in a machine, there are too some bolts and nuts in our body which join several parts of the body like arms and legs. The so-called nuts and bolts of the human body are known as JOINTS. A joint in general is the articulation that is present in between two bones. This sounds a bit complex. So joint in the English language refers to the association. So the joints in the human body associate something. The something defined previously is bones. In order to understand this, we have to know about the structure of bone in detail.

Fig 1.1- structure of a bone 

                     

The above image depicts the structure of a bone in general. Important information to be known is that the unit of a bone is called an osteon. Many osteons combine together to form a bone. Bone-destroying cells are known as osteoclasts and bone-forming cells are known as osteoblasts. The external structure of a bone has two parts namely epiphysis and diaphysis. Physis refers to the growing plate. An increase in the bone’s height corresponding to bone growth. Epi means above and dia means through. Hence diaphysis is found in between two epiphysis which acts as the head and tail to the bone. The point of attachment of muscle in this bone is known as the trochanter. Everything present in the human body has some kind of protection. In the case of bone, that protection is offered by the periosteum. The inner layers can be visualized by peeling off those previous layers hindering them. Next, we have the cartilage which is a rubbery kind of protection to the bone. Hyaline cartilage present in bone is rather glassy in nature. The bone also has nerves and blood vessels since the bone requires nourishment and a proper message for its functioning. Bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside the bones. It contains stem cells. The stem cells can develop into the red blood cells that carry oxygen through your body, the white blood cells that fight infections, and the platelets that help with blood clotting. Bone marrow can be considered the mother of blood cells. This table provides insights on the types.

Type namePrevalenceContent
RedChildrenBlood
YellowAdultsFat

So now we move onto how a joint connects two bones. Consider this situation where there are two pipes and we want to connect them. The best way to connect so as to minimize their loss is by using a junction. There may be other options also, but there is no need to make a fuss about it.

Fig 1.2- the structure of a healthy joint

Hence from all these, we can come to an understanding of the importance of joints in the human body. To be short, the human body is meaningless and fragmented as the face, trunk, hands, and legs are separated without the joints.

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