The Edwin Smith Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian text named after its 19th century owner and dated back to 2500 BC, is thought to be the first outline of a cosmetic surgery procedure. To look at it you’d have a hard time figuring out that it’s detailing the proper way to repair a broken nose, but there it is… the beginnings of an often misunderstood industry. With today’s obsession with bodily perfection keeping many a plastic surgeon practice running 24/7, a gentle reminder is sometimes needed that cosmetic surgery wasn’t always the territory of perfectly fine looking individuals attempting to make themselves look even finer. Physical deformities resulting from birth defects or caused by accidents, industrial or otherwise, were often a plastic surgeon’s main source of business in simpler surgical times. Jump ahead to today and uber-surgical enhancement Rodrigo Alves’ 100-plus cosmetic surgeries, and you have a great example of a good idea taken a half-dozen tummy tucks too far.
When it comes to humankind's quest for surgically enhanced physical improvements, there's a lot more to it than just the odd bit of Nip/Tuck.