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European Journal of Plastic Surgery

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 131–139 | Cite as

Dr. Maurice Coelst: the struggle of a Belgian plastic surgeon “before the term existed”

  • Paul Wylock
Original Paper

Introduction

Little is known about the history of plastic surgery in Belgium. Even at the celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the Royal Belgian Society of Surgery in 1993 1 no attention was paid to the specialist field of plastic surgery. The beginnings of plastic surgery as a separate speciality during the years between the World Wars were regarded with suspicion all over the world by the established surgeons of the time.

The history of our profession in Belgium between the wars is unshakeably associated with the name of Maurice Coelst (Fig.  1).

Keywords

History of plastic surgery M. Coelst J. Esser 

Notes

Acknowledgements

A word of thanks must go to my tutor, Professor Matton, for casting a critical eye over this historical study and for his many suggestions. I would also like to thank Barend Haeseker for allowing me to peruse the original correspondence between Coelst and Esser. It is a unique set of documents. I must also thank Philippe Coelst, Maurice Coelst’s youngest son, for his enthusiastic co-operation on this historical study and for providing me with a number of unique documents. Also a word of thanks for Riccardo Mazzola, who provided me with yet more unique documents from his world-famous library. And a big thanks to my sister, Monique Wylock, for her critical comments and the fluency of her pen.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Academic HospitalVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselBelgium

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