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“WWII’s Guinea Pig Club helped revolutionize plastic surgery”

Saturday, May 17th, 2014


This excerpt from the book “Extreme Medicine: How Exploration Transformed Medicine in the Twentieth Century” by Kevin Fong illustrates how efforts to treat troops’ horrific wounds during World War II transformed the field of plastic surgery. Reconstructive surgeon Archibald McIndoe was among those treating severe burns and reconstructing facial features using skin flap and other pioneering techniques. Recovering patients formed a social club, dubbed the Guinea Pig Club, which evolved from “drinking and singing around pianos to rehabilitation and support,” Fong writes. Slate (5/12)