Through history, advances in anatomy have been the foundation for subsequent improvements in surgical technique. Galen's theories of human anatomy, only partly informed by evidence from cadaveric dissection, both inspired and limited surgeons from Roman times until the late Middle Ages. Empiricism's eventual rebirth enabled the contributions of surgeons, like Al-Zahrawi in Moorish Spain, who appreciated the importance of anatomy. In 1543, De Humanis Corporis Fabrica was published by Vesalius and became the first complete anatomy textbook. This doubtless facilitated the subsequent innovations of others, including Gaspare Tagliacozzi (1545-1599), the so-called father of plastic and cutaneous surgery (eg, flap and graft reconstructions).
Alam M, Goldberg LH. Surgical Anatomy of the Head and Neck. Arch Dermatol. 2002;138(8):1106–1107. doi:10.1001/archderm.138.8.1106
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