EURAPS at 20 years. A brief history of European Plastic Surgery from the Société Européenne de Chirurgie Structive to the European Association of Plastic Surgeons (EURAPS)

Riccardo F. Mazzola, Moshe Kon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

By the end of WWI, plastic surgery had reached unexpected heights. The high quality of the work done for soldiers with facial injuries and burns, either as an emergency or as a delayed procedure, demonstrated that this new discipline was honourable, worthwhile and socially crucial, thus deserving official recognition and independence. The establishment of new plastic surgery centres, scientific societies and specialised journals were the key to success for the achievement of this goal. In 1936, the Belgian Maurice Coelst (1894-1963) founded the Société Européenne de Chirurgie Structive, the first supranational society, with the aim of gathering once a year all those interested in this new branch of surgery and favouring confrontation of ideas by showing innovative clinical procedures. The very successful first Congress with a large international participation was held in Brussels, with Coelst as the president, the second in London, in 1937, organised by Kilner and the third in Milano, in 1938, arranged by Sanvenero Rosselli. Even live surgery was performed during the meetings. The beginning of the WWII stopped the Societé's activities, which were never resumed. In the late 1980s, when plastic surgery reached its zenith, the necessity was felt to create a new supranational society, different in its purpose from the existing European Section of IPRAS, later European Society of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (ESPRAS), an organisation where all the official European plastic surgery societies merged automatically. The aim was to promote the excellence of plastic surgery in Europe, to furnish an annual forum for the selection of the best scientific works presented at national societies and to stimulate research and education at a European level. Established in 1989, 53 years after the foundation of the Société Européenne de Chirurgie Structive, it was named the European Association of Plastic Surgeons (EURAPS). The first scientific meeting took place in Strasbourg, France, city of the Council of Europe, on 7-9 June 1990. Based on the high scientific level of the clinical and aesthetic presentations, EURAPS soon ranked among the leading associations in Europe for plastic surgery and this leadership is now recognised all over the world. The EURAPS successfully celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2009.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)888-895
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Volume63
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010

Keywords

  • European Association of Plastic Surgeons (EURAPS)
  • History of Plastic Surgery
  • Maurice Coelst
  • Plastic Surgery and World War I
  • Société Européenne de Chirurgie Structive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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