American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

History of ASPS

How a pioneering organization & specialty took shape

Plastic surgery may be one of the world's oldest healing arts. Learn about this pioneering specialty, and the history of ASPS and The Plastic Surgery Foundation.

The 1960s

As the 1960s began, plastic surgery became even more prominent in the minds of the American public as the scope of procedures performed by surgeons increased.


There were many scientific developments in the 1960s. A new substance – silicone – began to emerge as a tool for plastic surgeons. Silicone was initially used to treat skin imperfections, then Thomas Cronin, MD, of Houston, utilized it in a breast implant device, which he unveiled in 1962.

A Big Year for Plastic Surgery

Despite the wars on both the home front and in Vietnam in 1969, it was a big year for plastic surgery. ASPS member Hal B. Jennings, MD, of San Antonio, was appointed Surgeon General of the United States by President Richard Nixon, the first and only plastic surgeon to date to achieve this public service honor.


Patient Care Center