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Harold Gillies

Father of Modern Plastic Surgery Harold Gillies

Full Name: Sir Harold Delf Gillies
Profession: Father of Modern Plastic Surgery

Biography: Harold Gillies was a pioneering plastic surgeon working in Britain and considered the 'father of plastic surgery'.

After seeing the reconstructive surgery of French oral surgeon Hippolyte Morestin and the horrific injuries resulting from the first World War, Gillies persuaded British authorities to establish a facial injury ward at Cambridge Military Hospital in England where he performed new experimental techniques on those horridly disfigured by the war. Later he led the establishment of the specialist facial injuries facility, The Queen's Hospital at Sidcup, London. By the end of the war he had treated over 11,000 patients. He was knighted for his work in 1930 by King George V.

Gillies continued his plastic surgery advances in private practice and throughout World War II, publishing a number of influential books on the subject. He was also involved in some of the first gender reassignment surgery in Britain.

Born: June 17, 1882
Birthplace: Dunedin, New Zealand
Star Sign: Gemini

Died: September 10, 1960 (aged 78)
Cause of Death: Suffered a slight cerebral thrombosis while undertaking a major operation on the damaged leg of an 18-year-old girl

Articles and Photos

Historical Events

  • 1917-08-18 The Queen's Hospital opens to provide pioneering plastic surgery for WWI soldiers, led by Harold Gillies in Sidcup, England
  • 1951-05-15 First vaginoplasty procedure (sex reassignment surgery) in the UK performed on Roberta Cowell by Harold Gillies

Biographies and Sources



Famous Physicians