The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery: Past, Present and Future

1887-1905: The New York Medical Record published an article on rhinoplasty - a procedure in which the structure of the nose is changed. Dermabrasion, a procedure used to improve scarred facial skin or smooth facial wrinkles, is first described.

1963: Dr. Richard Webster, the "father of cosmetic surgery" attends a meeting of three separate nasal societies. He writes: "For the first time, I met man after man who honestly, without any shame at all, evinced a paramount interest in...cosmetic surgery."

1969: The American Association of Cosmetic Surgeons is incorporated by a study group that traveled from city to city to learn each others' rhinoplasty and facial plastic techniques. Members are "from all disciplines and plastic surgeons deeply interested in cosmetic surgery." They soon hold their first educational meeting. Liposuction is first observed and documented. The Liposuction Society is formed.

1979: The American Board of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery is incorporated by Dr. Richard Aronsohn (an otolaryngologist) and Dr. Robert Franklin (a plastic surgeon). A fellowship program is developed in conjunction with The Graduate Hospital of Philadelphia. The first board exams are administered two years later. The ABAPS is later replaced by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.

1982: The American Society of Cosmetic Surgery is incorporated by specialists who focus on cosmetic procedures pertaining to the body.

1985: The American Association of Cosmetic Surgeons, the American Society of Cosmetic Surgeons and the Liposuction Society combine to create the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. Richard Webster is named President. His ideal of cosmetic surgeons from many specialties teaching (and learning from) each other remains a hallmark of the AACS to this day. The American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery is soon revived after a brief hiatus from its founding in 1984. By 1986, the AACS has 1,200 members.

1992: Jean and Alastair Carruthers describe the use of Botox for the treatment of facial aging and wrinkles. This was an interdisciplinary collaboration between not just a dermatologist and an ophthalmologist - but husband and wife. 

1998-9: AACS collaborates on a report on liposuction surgery with Arthur Anderson Consulting. 

2000: The American Medical Association awards AACS a seat in the House of Delegates. Dr. Tony Geroulis served as the first delegate while Dr. Robert Jackson served as alternate delegate. AACS soon earned a seat on the Section Council for Plastic, Reconstructive and Maxillofacial Surgery.

2000: The Cosmetic Surgery Foundation is formed as the research and education arm of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. As a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, the Foundation is committed to the advancement of the science of cosmetic surgery and the enhancement of patient safety and trust. The Foundation funds educational programming and cutting-edge research.

2002: Cosmetic surgery is designated as an official specialty of the American Medical Association. Collaboration with Medical Protective begins with the purpose of educating underwriters about cosmetic surgery outcomes. 

2004: The 20th AACS Annual Scientific Meeting is held in Hollywood, Florida.

2006: Medical Protective creates an ISO code for cosmetic surgery.

2007-8: AACS commissions a Young Surgeons Task Force to reach out to medical residents. The AACS Hospital open in Dubai. This event was held in conjunction with the World Congress on Liposuction Surgery and Advances in Cosmetic Surgery.

2008-9: AACS adds a membership category for Allied Health professionals to recognize the expanding role of nurses and technicians in cosmetic surgery. Efforts to grow the AACS international presence make inroads in France, Mexico and Japan. The AACS quarterly member magazine Surge launched with a dedicated focus on topics impacting the practice of cosmetic surgery.  

2017: AACS holds it's 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting, to be held in San Diego, California, Feb 9-11.