Friday, 24 September 2010

UK plastic surgery in the interwar years

I enjoyed reading the article by Sykes and Bamji in this months Annals of Plastic Surgery. Their article complements the one by Fraser and Hultman (1) in the previous issue.

They explore the reasons why British plastic surgery was overtaken by the Americans during the interwar period. During this period the 'big four' plastic surgeons (Gillies, Kilner, McIndoe and Mowlem) dominated the specialty. It is thought that this dominance may have led to a stifling of competition. Also, whereas as Americans embraced the nascent art of cosmetic surgery, the British did not.

The advent of the Second World War gave impetus for expansion of the specialty and reinforced its position as a worthwhile surgical specialty that deserved individual units around the country.

1. Fraser JF, Hultman CS. America’s fertile frontier: how America surpassed Britain in the development and growth of plastic surgery during the interwar years 1920–1940. Ann Plast Surg. 2010;64:610.

Image: From left to right: Mowlem, Kilner, Gilies, McIndoe (Copyright - Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Im doing a history project on the development of plastic surgery in the 20th century and i was trying to access the Annuls of Plastic Surgery but of course you have to be a member and i can afford the subscription. I was just wondering if you knew any other way of accessing it? My emails I would be very grateful of any ideas you might have in gathering information around this topic.
    Thank you
    Vashti Jewell