Session 3

Making it easier to face the world - for many that's what plastic surgery is for. But it has a much more serious side. Try our reading activity to learn about the development of plastic surgery and test your knowledge of relative clauses.

ఈ పాఠ్యాంశం లోని సెషన్స్

Session 3 score

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

Getting a new face

Everybody has looked in the mirror at some point in their lives and thought they could do with a smaller nose or fewer wrinkles. Plastic surgery has changed the lives of many people – not only of those who wanted to look more beautiful and younger, but also of people who needed almost a new face after terrible injuries. Come with us on a painless journey to learn about the history of plastic surgery. We hope your English will look prettier by the end.

To do

Read this article about plastic surgery quite quickly. Try to find the answer to this question:

How were members of the public living close to a plastic surgery hospital in London in the early 20th century prepared for the shock of seeing patients with horrific face injuries? The answer is at the bottom of the article.

పాఠాన్ని చదివి పనిని పూర్తి చేయండి

Part 1
There is no doubt that plastic surgery is popular. Almost 10 million operations were performed in 2014, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS). Eyelid surgery topped the list of the five most popular procedures, which included breast augmentation and rhinoplasty.

We hear a lot about cosmetic surgery these days. But what many people may not realise is that reconstructing someone's face has an ancient past. There are reports of treatments to restore a broken nose in ancient Egyptian documents. And the Romans could perform simple ear-repairing techniques.

Part 2
Considering that safe anaesthetics and antibiotics were only discovered in the 19th and 20th centuries, it was a truly painful and risky business to go under the knife in the past. But as far back as the mid-15th century nose jobs were carried out using skin taken from the upper arm. More sophisticated skin graft techniques were later brought to the West from India.

Part 3
These techniques were carefully studied by one of the great surgeons at the time of World War One, Harold Gillies. It was a time in which plastic surgery went through a revolution. The trenches protected the soldiers’ bodies. but many who stuck their heads up were exposed to explosions of all kinds. Harold Gillies, who was born in New Zealand, was an innovator. He had a ward at the Cambridge Military Hospital in Britain, and later a whole hospital dedicated to helping disfigured soldiers - Queen Mary’s in London. One of Gillies’s most successful procedures was carried out on Lieutenant William Spreckley, who had a section of rib cartilage implanted on his forehead. Six months after that it was used to construct his nose. By Spreckley’s 60th birthday, the scars were almost invisible.

Part 4
Many wounded men at that time couldn’t stand looking at their own faces. Some fainted. There were no mirrors in the hospital. And it wasn’t unusual for them to choose a life in isolation. In parks near the Queen Mary's Hospital, some benches were painted blue to signal to patients with facial injuries that they could sit there. And it was a way of telling local residents to prepare for the shock of seeing someone with a disfigured face.

Part 5
Plastic surgery has come a long way since then. It reconstructs what does need reconstructing and improves what needs improving, but it also makes people with no particular problems feel more confident. Bigger breasts? Straight nose? Facelift? You name it and competent surgeons can do it. Some people go a long way to change their looks, like the late pop star Michael Jackson. And if you want to look like Michael Jackson or a Barbie doll, have a lot of cash and determination, then it might be possible. In many cases, cosmetic surgery is not a necessity at all, just a choice. But when done properly by capable doctors to patients who have a realistic goal, it is believed that plastic surgery can heal psychological wounds almost as much as physical ones.

Answer to our question:

People who lived close to a plastic surgery hospital in London early in the 20th century knew that benches painted blue were for patients with horrific facial injuries.

To do

Read the article again more closely. Here are some questions for you to check how much you can understand and how well you've learnt relative clauses.


Plastic surgery quiz

9 Questions

Choose the best answer to check your understanding of the article

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! ఈసారి కలిసి రాలేదు లెండి You scored:
x / y

End of Session 3

How did you do in the quiz? Join us in Session 4 for when Rob and Neil discuss the question "How much plastic surgery is too much?"

సెషన్ లోని వ్యాకరణం

    • Defining relative clauses

      These relative clauses give the information that directly identifies what is being talked about.

      The house that we were thinking of buying has been sold.
      We need to fix the window that I broke.
      The girl who was hit by the bike wasn't seriously hurt.

      Without the relative clause the sentences wouldn't be complete and we wouldn't know what was being talked about.

      Non-defining relative clauses

      These relative clauses, which add more information about nouns, do not identify the noun being talked about. 

      My car, which I've had since I was a teenager, was stolen last night. 
      She gave me her number, which I wrote on a piece of paper.
      His dad, who is 78, goes for a 5 mile walk every day.

      Without the relative clause the sentences are still complete and we know what is being talked about.

Session Vocabulary

  • could do with
    need or want something (used in spoken English)

    lines on the skin, which usually appear with age


    breast augmentation
    operation to make breasts bigger

    type of surgery to change the nose

    cosmetic surgery
    operation done to improve someone’s appearance

    drugs which stop people feeling pain

    drugs which prevent infection

    to go under the knife
    have an operation

    nose jobs
    operation to change the nose

    skin graft
    piece of skin taken from one part of the body and used to repair another

    long, narrow holes soldiers dig and stay in

    creator of new things

    part of a hospital with beds for patients

    describes someone whose appearance has been damaged

    rib cartilage
    strong tissue found in bones if the chest

    operation to tighten the skin of the face to make it look younger