London — Medical records and photos detailing pioneering plastic surgeries performed on British soldiers wounded in World War I have emerged and can be viewed online for the first time.
The records detail the groundbreaking work of Harold Gillies, M.D., an otolaryngologist who some consider the father of plastic surgery and who developed some of the world’s first successful skin grafts during the war, The Telegraph of London reports.
Records of 11,000 operations procedures done between 1917 and 1925, including details of more than 3,000 soldiers treated during the war, have been posted at findmypast.co.uk. The posting is described as a rare opportunity for family historians to learn more about relatives who survived the war.
Dr. Gillies introduced the tubed pedicle, allowing surgeons to use patients’ own tissues, reducing the chance of rejection, The Telegraph reports.
“The medical world owes a great deal to Dr. Gillies, as do those who were treated by him in the early 20th century and anyone who has ever received plastic surgery treatment since then,” The Telegraph quotes Debra Chatfield, family historian at findmypast.co.uk, as saying. “Without his pioneering developments in this field, plastic surgery might not be as advanced as it is today.”
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