WW1 Surgery


We know a load of pioneering work was done during WW1, looks like more of it is coming online.
The surgical records detail the groundbreaking work of Dr Harold Gillies, the pioneering plastic surgeon who developed some of the world’s first successful skin grafts during the Great War.

Dr Gillies developed early plastic surgery techniques to treat seriously wounded and disfigured soldiers, allowing them to go on to live a full life as civilians.

Records relating to more than 3,000 soldiers treated at The Queen’s Hospital in Sidcup, Kent during the First World War have now been placed online for the first time.

The index of 11,000 operations reflect procedures between 1917 and 1925, including details of soldiers, their names, regiments and ranks.
Pioneering plastic surgery records from First World War published - Telegraph

The Queen Mary's Hospital Sidcup Archives
I do remember Gilles being mentioned as inspiring his younger cousin Archibald McIndoe (WWII Guinea pig Club) into taking up plastic surgery.
I also recall a harrowing book of before, during and after photos of Gilles patients. Amazing results for the time.
The American series Boardwalk Empire features a character who suffered facial injuries of this type in WW1. His prosthesis is attached by a pair of spectacles...in one episode he removes it to reveal the full horror of the wound.
There was an exhibition on Harold Gillies at the National Army Museum. Not sure if it's still on though.


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