Art and plastic surgery go together on university curriculum

May 18, 2012

Art and plastic surgery go together on university curriculum
Art and plastic surgery go together on university curriculum

Plastic surgeons go through years of training to understand anatomy, medicine and health procedures, but more than others in the medical field, their practice is inextricably linked to aesthetics. So it may come as no surprise that a group of soon-to-be plastic surgeons at the University of Lincoln are supplementing their medical expertise with a course that involves drawing and sculpting, according to the BBC.

The class, titled the Art of Reconstruction, is divided into three sections – self-portraiture, life drawing and clay modeling. But the classes aren’t your run-of-the mill art lessons - instead they are tailored to be applicable to plastic surgery, in particular procedures dealing with the head, neck and breasts.

“My job is to introduce aesthetic principles and aesthetic judgments, which may improve their perceptual and observational skills,” professor Michael Esson, who created and teaches the class, told the news source. “The idea is that they can maybe apply these principles to their surgical practice.”

During the courses, students must learn how to draw the human face by splitting its composition into four sectors, or construct a realistic human breast from clay. During the latter lesson, Esson encourages students to look at the breast from above, as though they were the patient, to understand all of the unique perspectives that go into an aesthetically pleasing and symmetrical breast implant. Students say the course helps them to view their work as an artist would.

“Yesterday we did clay modeling and I thought I’d done a good job until I turned around, I went around to the side, as mostly artists do, and then I noticed a huge gap,” student Emma Caroline Fernandez told the BBC.

Patients who are considering undergoing plastic surgery also need to have a good perspective on what outcomes can be expected. Viewing before and after photos is an effective way to gauge what results may be attainable, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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