American plastic surgery and global health: A brief history

Christopher D. Hughes, Blake Alkire, Christine Martin, Nadine Semer, John G. Meara

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Access to essential surgical care in resource-poor settings is gaining recognition as a major component of international public health efforts. As evidence is mounting about the burden of surgically treatable disease in low- and middle-income countries, so too is the evidence for the significant need for plastic surgery treatment of disease rising in these areas. American plastic surgery has a long history with international surgical efforts in resource-poor regions around the world. Early experiences were not formalized until after World War II, when a foundation partnership provided a venue for interested plastic surgeons to volunteer. These efforts progressed and advanced throughout the 1960s-1970s, but were ultimately devastated by the Vietnam War. Subsequent international plastic surgical experiences by American surgeons over the last 40 years have been largely through several nongovernmental organizations. American plastic surgical involvement in global surgery has changed significantly over the last 70 years. Although quality care is being delivered to resource-poor regions around the world, many of the challenges of regionally appropriate, sustainable care persist today.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-225
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012


  • Global surgery
  • history international plastic surgery
  • international surgery
  • plastic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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