Plastic surgery is a specialized branch of surgery that is concerned with correcting deformities that are congenital (in-born) or acquired from accidents or aging, in order to restore or enhance form and/or function.
The origins of plastic surgery are rooted in ancient history. Until the end of the nineteenth century, plastic surgery was essentially reconstructive. With the perfection of techniques, the correction of minor defects that were congenital in nature or due to aging came to be practiced, evolving into what is now popularly known as cosmetic or aesthetic plastic surgery.
Although plastic surgery can be categorized into either reconstructive or cosmetic surgery, there is no clear distinction between the two, since there is a cosmetic aspect in reconstructive surgery, and often a reconstructive aspect in cosmetic surgery. Pioneer plastic surgeon Sir Harold Gillies defined reconstructive surgery as an attempt to restore the individual to normal, while cosmetic surgery is an attempt to surpass the normal.