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November 1961

A Jamaican Reconstructive Surgical Program

Author Affiliations

Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Miami School of Medicine; Honorary Consultant in Plastic Surgery, Government of Jamaica.

Arch Surg. 1961;83(5):707-718. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300170063013

Scattered eastward off the southern tip of Florida and bounding the northern shore of the Caribbean Sea is a chain of 4 islands composing the greater Antilles, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico. Jet flying time from Miami to Kingston in Jamaica is just over an hour. For the casual visitor, the tropical island of Jamaica promises a carefree holiday of sun, rum, and perpetual calypso. Yet behind the smiles of the natives in attendance there is a reconstructive surgical challenge to be found that is indeed horrendous. For an understanding of these people and their deformities, a glance at the history of this island is essential.

Jaymaca, "Island of Springs"  Christopher Columbus in the spring of 1494 first sighted the Island of Jamaica. The Spaniards that followed Columbus were fortune hunters lusting for gold. Finding this floral island with little to plunder, some remained as settlers, enslaving the aboriginal