German Wartime Plastic Surgery

#1
Just been reading that in post-war Japan, there was a lack of expertise in plastic surgery because for historical reasons, Japanese looked upon Germany for their medical training (conversely, on the nursing side, the Nightingale principles were followed)

The reason given for the disparity was that Germany lagged behind UK and the US in plastic surgery techniques.

My question is, therefore, did this show during both the wars?
Did Germany have their equivalents to East Grinstead, and experts like Archibald McIndoe and Harold Gilles?
 
#2
Great topic and not one I've ever looked at in much depth. WW2 is not my area, but there are several books on wartime medicine. IIRC, Germany (Jacques Joseph: Rhinoplasty) , France, Holland (J. Esser), and Belgium, and Russia, can all claim early work with maxillofacial surgery and jaw injuries. There was a history of cosmetic surgery to begin with and of course the French and Germans had experience from the pre-WWI Balkan Peninsula wars.

Gillies is widely credited in developing this stuff and The National Archives has an article:
The person most linked to facial reconstruction in the First World War is Harold Gillies. Born in New Zealand, he studied medicine at Cambridge and qualified as a surgeon in the UK. After heading to France to serve in the war with the Royal Army Medical Corps, Gillies met Charles Auguste Valadier, a dentist who was enthusiastic in trying to replace jaws which had been destroyed by gunshot wounds. It was then that he turned his attentions to plastic surgery of the face
That's as much as I know, having written a sodding year long thesis in 2014.

Searches find that Major Harold Gillies had also worked at CMH Aldershot in 1916 before he was overwhelmed by The Somme and set up a central military hospital for facial and jaw injuries in 1917, now known as Queen Mary’s at Sidcup. AFAIK, wartime plastic surgery is another bedrock of modern medicine.

I have found that in France, Germany, Britain and elsewhere, teams of surgeons and dentists, with anaesthetists and medical 'artists', repaired faces in special centres at home and on the Fronts. WWI medical histories (Fussell et al) point to the early poor understanding of WWI battlefield surgery on all sides. That situation soon changed, though "few World War I surgeons developed their knowledge of plastic surgery, neurosurgery and oral surgery in post‐war practice" (D.A. Simpson and D.J. David, 2004).
 

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#3
The RADC Museum used to be worth a visit if interested in such things. A great collection of stereotype photos of the wounds and the surgical processes. Also due to the time it was being recorded, a collection of water colours of the same.
(now part of the AMS Museum at Keogh Barracks, never been so no idea if still on show)
 

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#4
#5
Interesting topic.

I've often thought that the best thing to come out of conflict are advances in medicine.

The severity of wounding survived in the IED strewn Afghan and Iraq wars is astounding. Advancement in prosthetics etc are also amazing
 
#6
Morning. For those that know Frognal House, nr Frognal Corner in Bexley DA14 6LF, that's where the original Plastic and Facial surgery hospital started in 1917, with prefabs in the grounds. Five thousand went through it and it's now a residential home with a plaque to Sir H. Gillies.

'Faces from the Front: Harold Gillies, The Queen’s Hospital, Sidcup and the Origins of Modern Plastic Surgery' (book).

Free archive copy of 'Plastic Surgery of the Face', by H.D. Gillies, 1920.

There were significant numbers of specialist hospitals in Germany. Whilst Gillies operated in England, Prussian surgeon Jacques Joseph operated at the Charité in Berlin (now Europe's largest university hospital), performing plastic surgery on the German army. Besides specialist surgery, warring nation hospitals were places of therapy and rehabilitation.
Article: Jacques Joseph.

https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-onli...e-mutilation_and_disfiguration-2017-08-03.pdf:
High quality centres for the treatment of facial wounds were established by a number of doctors during the war. In Britain, Harold Gillies (1882-1960) opened a specialist hospital, the Queens Hospital, to treat soldiers with facial wounds. The Dominions, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia provided specialist surgeons for their own soldiers at the hospital in the southeast of England, which by 1918 contained more than a thousand beds. [13]

Gillies had originally worked with dentist, Charles Valadier (1873-1931), at the front and they concentrated on a combination of functional repair and aesthetics of the face. In Paris, Hippolyte Morestin (1869-1919) worked to repair the faces of French soldiers wounded in war. Jacques Joseph (1865-1934) operated at the Charité in Berlin, where he performed plastic surgery on the facially wounded men of the German army. As well as providing specialist surgical treatment, the hospitals in warring nations provided specific kinds of associated therapy. For disfiguring wounds of the face, particular care had to be taken with mental health issues as well as physical restoration.
 

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#8
As an afterthought, did any captured enemy personnel become members of the Guinea Pig Club?
Not sure, the purpose of the surgery was to return folk to fighting fitness.
 
#9
#10
I watched the programme on BBC iPlayer with Michael Mosley in Camp Bastion Med Centre, he was moved to tears when a young US Marine the same age as his son was admitted with lower limb injuries, the self use tornique was shown and it is now used on NHS ambulances along with whole blood supplies kept at body temp, both saved lives after terrorist attacks in the UK apparently as well as helping trauma RTC cases. Just a pity only war can lead to such groundbreaking discoveries.
Found the doc but it's not available apparently
BBC Two - Frontline Medicine, Survival, Michael Mosley is moved to tears
 
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#11
If you can get a copy of Dr Dieter Stortz Book The Mauser it shows facial wounds of German soldiers in WW1 caused by .303 ammo!
 

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#12
Major war time advances in World war 1 included blood transfusions and blood banks (using sodium citrate to prevent the blood clotting in the bottles it could be kept for up to month.

The Thomas splint. A right pain in the backside to use but prior to it approx. 75% of broken femurs were fatal.

Mobile xray units and better antiseptics were also products of the first conflict
 

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#13
WW2 saw the widespread introduction of penicillin and sulfanilamide drugs, the use of plasma as opposed to whole blood, various anti-malarial drugs.
IIRC tetanus vaccinations were introduced to troops during WW2.

And Macindoe was not the only one doing skin grafts, a Russian called Filatov was ground breaking in them as well.
 

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#14
The use of Polymethyl methacrylate to make dentures (the pink plastic bits) was pioneered during World War 2 as up until that time dentures were made of vulcanite which was a compound made from rubber. However due to our blockade rubber was in short supply and thus alternatives were sought.

The bio-compatibility of PMMA was discovered when shards of Perspex and plexiglass were noticed not to cause problems in aircrew eyes and faces that glass did!
 
#15
Might be a starting point for the OP German field hospitals on the eastern front • Axis History Forum However did read a book recently and it mentioned a British soldier captured in Normandy who was sent to a field hospital and described it as a butchers shop giving the impression that they would lop a limb off rather than try and save it.

Beevors book about Stalingrad makes a mention of a specialized field hospital for crainial wounds near Gumrak airfield that was overun and the Soviets gave the wounded a few more injuries to the skull by bumping them off so the German system must have had a system in place for specialist injuries/wounds
 
#16
It's said that the reason for Japan following German medical doctrine was because the early Dutch traders on the island of Dejima-just of Nagasaki gave medical texts to the Japanese who found them easier to translate into German.
While I'm not convinced it is entirely true, it sounds feasible..
But after the opening up of Japan, many physicians came from Germany to teach in university and to found hospitals and Japanese also studied medicine in Germany. German became the lingua franca of medicine

Not completely a one-way street, Dr. Bälz, the personal physician to the Meiji Emperor and to the crown prince, is credited with introducing Judo to Germany
 

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#17
#18
The Thomas splint. A right pain in the backside to use but prior to it approx. 75% of broken femurs were fatal.
I saw one of those recently; I'd read about them but not actually seen one.

I was at the Science Museum to look at the excellent Wounded Exhibition - there was a Thomas Splint from the First World War in one of the cases.

Wounded: Conflict, Casualties and Care | Science Museum

Interestingly, Hugh Thomas, after whom the Thomas Splint was named, was the uncle of Sir Robert Jones, THE orthopaedic surgeon of his generation and the person who made dramatic changes to the treatment of wounded men needing orthopaedic surgery and aftercare, starting with the orthopaedic military wards at Alder Hey, then developing orthopaedic provision around the country, the primary hospital probably being the large one at Shepherd's Bush.

The ‘Thomas Splint’ – UK Disability History Month
 

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#19
I saw one of those recently; I'd read about them but not actually seen one.

I was at the Science Museum to look at the excellent Wounded Exhibition - there was a Thomas Splint from the First World War in one of the cases.

Wounded: Conflict, Casualties and Care | Science Museum

Interestingly, Hugh Thomas, after whom the Thomas Splint was named, was the uncle of Sir Robert Jones, THE orthopaedic surgeon of his generation and the person who made dramatic changes to the treatment of wounded men needing orthopaedic surgery and aftercare, starting with the orthopaedic military wards at Alder Hey, then developing orthopaedic provision around the country, the primary hospital probably being the large one at Shepherd's Bush.

The ‘Thomas Splint’ – UK Disability History Month
We definitely trained to use them in 80's and 90's, design had not changed in that time
 

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