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Release of WWI medical records may help reconstruct historical developments in plastic surgery

An article that appeared in The Telegraph today announced the release of medical records documenting World War I plastic surgery operations on wounded British soldiers.

Although many of the records are only available to descendants of the veterans, the article features an amazing set of before and after photos for one particular soldier. The images may be hard to look at for some, but they also illustrate the breakthrough work of plastic surgery pioneer Harold Gillies, MD, and his brilliant contributions to the field of reconstructive face surgery.

Family historian Debra Chatfield explains in the article:

The medical world owes a great deal to Dr Gillies, as do those who were treated by him in the early twentieth century and anyone who has ever received plastic surgery treatment since then. Without his pioneering developments in this field, plastic surgery might not be as advanced as it is today.

These records are an important source of information for historians, the medical world and those interested in learning about the reality and aftermath of World War I.

Previously: In scar wars, a new hope

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