Eat that, Gillies!
November 21, 2012 12:33 PM Subscribe
Can you help me assess this piece of medical history? I would like to know if it is historically interesting.
posted by Jehan to Science & Nature (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Rummaging through some old journals, I discovered that a doctor in my town performed an instance of early plastic surgery under anesthetic (the patient, not him). To my mind it seems very early and somewhat outside what might be expected, but I would like input from anybody who know more about medical history.
In spring 1847, the doctor operated on a young woman who had significant burns from childhood. The scars meant that she could not move hear head and neck fully. He administered ether to her, cut out the scars, and replaced them with strips of skin taken from elsewhere. The patient lived, and, according to the report, had an acceptably good restoration of movement.
I know that surgery took place before this, and skin grafts are very old, but I can't find much information on plastic surgery for burns at this time (everything seems to skip straight to Harold Gillies). So my question is basically whether this is at all historically interesting, or beyond the norm for what was going on at the time.