Ancient Plastic Surgery

Ancient plastic surgery is a documentary by British director Philip J day. Surgeon Natasha Hidvegi explores the history and origins of human surgery, in particular plastic surgery.

Plastic surgery is hailed as one of the wonders of modern science. Conventional wisdom has it that post World War II the urgent need for corrective surgery for battle wounds, as well as advances in anaesthesia and antibiotics, caused dramatic progress to occur, leading to plastic surgery becoming almost commonplace today.

But British plastic surgeon Natasha Hidvegi was astounded to learn that an operation she was working on, in restoring the nose of a cancer patient, was developed 3,000 years ago, in India. So begins her journey around the world and back in time to investigate what the ancient civilizations of Egypt, India and Rome might have known about cosmetic and restorative surgery. In Varanasi, home of Aruyvedic medicine, Natasha starts her quest observing a rhinoplasty (nose job) being carried out according to techniques devised by the Ayurvedic medic Sushruta way back in the 5th Century BC. Back in London, she assists at the very same operation carried out by Harley Street specialists. Sushruta’s operation and the principles it underlines has remained the bedrock for plastic surgery right up to today, becoming the most popular and successful form of restorative rhinoplasty available in the world at this time.

Natasha discovers that plastic surgery dates back to the earliest records we have – and probably, beyond that time. Queen Nefertiti was one of the greatest beauties ever known. Plastic surgeons reveal that the dimensions of her face still provide the model for their work. But was her remarkable face entirely natural?

Ancient Plastic Surgery reveals how ancient surgeons carried out the most delicate cosmetic work from nose jobs to breast reduction, eye-lid lifts, foreskin restoration, clitoris reduction as well as the concealment of scars and wounds. And all of this work completed without anything to equal the anaesthesia of today…. (excerpts  by )

Watch the full documentary on Ancient Plastic Surgery