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Summary: Plastic surgery is older than many of us realize. Rudimentary versions of our modern rhinoplasty were performed in ancient Rome, and breast augmentation has been around for almost as long as the corset.

Plastic Surgery Trends

Plastic surgery is older than many of us realize. Rudimentary versions of our modern rhinoplasty were performed in ancient Rome, and breast augmentation has been around for almost as long as the corset. Today, aesthetic surgery is much more regulated, and the Internet has empowered potential patients. For those looking for a reputable plastic surgeon in Scottsdale or elsewhere in the United States, the perfect match is just a click away.

But some flops are inevitable parts of the learning process, especially with such a lengthy history of innovation. Read on for the strangest trends in plastic surgery that color its past, present, and future.

The Past

If the polypropylene breast implants of the 1990s are your idea of outdated plastic surgery, go back — way back. Both reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery have been around for thousands of years, and though their methods were questionable, it’s interesting to learn that many of our ancestors dealt with the same insecurities that we do today. But some things are better left in the past, including:

Facelifts — for the dead: Ancient Egypt took mummification seriously. The tedious process of cleaning and preparing a body for burial lasted for weeks, and the resulting well-preserved mummies are just as valuable to today’s historians as they were to yesterday’s mourners. But for many of Egypt’s high-profile deceased, it wasn’t enough to simply remove the organs and cleanse the body. Because Egyptians believed that the face was the only physical feature to be retained in the afterlife, facial surgery was often performed postmortem to maintain the unique characteristics of pharaohs, queens, and other honored people. Bone, seeds, and other natural materials were inserted under the skin to ensure the face stayed recognizable, even after the deterioration of muscles and tendons.

Breast implants with what?!: Our pursuit of large breasts isn’t a recent thing. Like other sexual characteristics, we’re evolutionarily wired to find them attractive, and this pattern wasn’t lost on our ancestors. In the late 1800s, a German woman underwent a very early version of fat grafting to correct her asymmetrical breasts. Throughout the following decades, surgeons experimented with all manner of breast implants, from glass balls to ground rubber. Silicone implants as we know them today weren’t introduced until the late 1960s. You can’t hurry perfection, after all.

The Present

There’s no doubt that some of the things we do today will have us looking back and shaking our heads later on. Silly fads come and go, and plastic surgery is no exception. Here are some of today’s most curious trends in cosmetic surgery:

All pain, no gain: The Tongue Patch Diet traces its roots to South America, and it isn’t a diet at all. Instead of eating right and exercising, tongue patch dieters undergo a procedure to have a small plastic mesh patch sewn onto their tongues. The patch makes eating solid food too painful to bear. Patients are instead instructed to stick to a liquid diet that allows them to consume 800 pain-free calories a day. But the results — an unhealthy weight loss of up to 20 pounds in a month — are temporary. The patch must be removed within 30 days. Any longer than that, and patients run the risk of the patch becoming permanently embedded in their tongues.

Choose your fate: Surgical alteration of the lines of the palm is rapidly gaining popularity in Japan, where palmistry is a respected way to predict the future. The logic is simple: Change your lines, change your fate. Plastic surgeons find that the most permanent results are made using an electric scalpel, which burns the skin in addition to making an incision. No word yet on whether its effectiveness can be measured.

The Future

Like other medical specialties, plastic surgery is evolving rapidly. With the help of the new surgical techniques and medical devices on the horizon, the future’s never looked so good — or so weird. Here are 2 up-and-coming trends to watch for.

Bow wow beauty: Over the years, domestic animals have been bred for specific skills and features, ranging from a great sense of smell to an irresistible flat face. And surgical alterations, including tail docking and ear cropping, have long been a part of breed standards for show dogs. But how about putting your pet under the knife just because? It’s already happening overseas, and veterinarians fear that the popularity of plastic surgery for pets will spread. Facelifts, nose surgery, and even liposuction for dogs and cats are being billed as quality of life issues, but animal rights advocates say that these unnecessary procedures, which can be costly and dangerous, are just the results of human vanity run amok.

Turn around, bright eyes: Where do plastic surgery and body modification intersect? At JewelEye, of course. This patent-pending adornment involves the surgical implantation of a small piece of platinum jewelry into the eyeball for a subtle flash of glitter. Danish ophthalmologist Dr. Gerrit R.J. Melles, the creator of JewelEye, claims that the jewelry doesn’t interfere with eye function or movement.

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