War, facial surgery and itinerant Kiwis: The New Zealand plastic surgery story

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Earle Brown
Michael F Klaassen

Keywords

plastic surgery, reconstructive surgical procedures, surgeons, New Zealand, World War I, World War II

Abstract

In the southwest Pacific, in the first decades of the twentieth century, a small country produced a disproportionately large number of itinerant young surgeons who travelled far and wide to improve their skills by gaining experience in nations of much larger populations. Serendipity and providence saw them apply their surgical skills and training in the major theatres of world wars. In a spirit of dynamic energy and passion, their peripatetic travels saw them embrace the new surgical specialty of plastic and reconstructive surgery. This paper describes the historical and significant contributions of Kiwis (New Zealanders) to the world story of plastic surgery. Over the years some have stood out more than others, but this account considers each and every significant plastic surgeon in the global picture that begins with World War I and evolves to the present day. We should not forget them.

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