With board certification and its own scientific journal, plastic surgery was fully integrated into the medical establishment by 1950. It next moved into the public consciousness.
There was much good news to report to the American people in those post–war days. As with other areas of science and medicine, plastic surgery discoveries were happening at a break–neck pace, often derived from innovations tested in the rear–area hospitals of Korea. Internal wiring for facial fractures, rotation flaps for skin deformities and a bevy of other new techniques were developed by plastic surgeons in the 1950s.
As the 1960s began, plastic surgery became even more prominent in the minds of the American public as the scope of procedures performed by surgeons increased.
There were many scientific developments in the 1960s. A new substance, silicone, began to emerge as a tool for plastic surgeons. Silicone was initially used to treat skin imperfections, then Dr. Thomas Cronin, MD, of Houston, utilized it in a breast implant device, which he unveiled in 1962.
A Big Year for Plastic Surgery
The 1970s began with plastic surgeons moving to the forefront of the medical profession. All parts of the human body, it seemed, could benefit from the skill of a plastic surgeon and ASPRS members made landmark contributions in areas not previously considered within their sphere.
A Nobel Laureate
In the early 1970s, ASPRS member Dr. Joseph Murray, MD, of Boston, performed the first successful kidney transplant, an achievement that would earn him the Nobel Prize. Dr. George Crikelair, MD, of Florida, developed flame–retardant children’s clothing, saving thousands of lives, and thousands more from agonizing pain and disfigurement.
The Passing of a Founding Father
In 1976, ASPRS founder Dr. Jacques Maliniac passed away. In the 45 years since he founded the Society, he had seen it grow from a handful of his east coast New York colleagues to nearly 2,000 members spread across the country.