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May 26, 1978

Biological Aspects of Reconstructive Surgery

Author Affiliations

Massachusetts General Hospital Boston

JAMA. 1978;239(21):2288. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280480080031

One cannot review this book without citing the following editorial comment:

The roots of plastic surgery are the same as those of general surgery. To treat major surgical problems effectively the plastic surgeon must have a firm grasp on fluid and electrolyte physiology and parenteral fluid therapy. He must understand "normal" metabolism and the metabolic response to injury. Knowledge of the physiology of blood oxygen, transport bleeding, and coagulation is required.

Many present-day plastic surgeons choose to renounce their general surgical backgrounds and refuse to undertake the management of difficult problems such as acute burns, pediatric fluid management and post-traumatic septic shock, even when these conditions complicate the care of their own patients. By doing so they render themselves merely technicians.

This increasing concern is shared by many "general" plastic surgeons. Biological Aspects of Reconstructive Surgery will be a welcome volume since it provides a fund of newer information of