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Arch Plast Surg > Volume 45(3); 2018 > Article
Hwang: Archives of Korean Plastic Surgery
While I was in London for 3 months in 2016, I visited the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) archives located at the Royal College of Surgeons in London.
The palatoplasty method I have been using for almost 30 years (V-Y pushback) was derived from Dr. Kilner via Dr. Calnan, so I wanted to see some relics belonging to Dr. Kilner.
I contacted the Hunterian Museum and made an appointment with the curator. There, I met the honorary archivist Dr. Roger Green, and was shown 3 boxes of Dr. Kilner’s relics: drafts of papers, pictures of the patients he operated on, schemas submitted to journals, and his handwritten notes. While in the room, I wore gloves on my hands to protect the papers. As I read Dr. Kilner’s lecture draft written 68 years ago, I felt as if I was listening to him give the lecture in the lecture room downstairs.
The records of plastic surgery go back to at least 500 BC. However, the modern discipline as we know it has its origins in the First World War. The BAPRAS archives were founded in the 1980s by Antony Wallace, and are known as the Antony Wallace Archive. The current honorary archivist is Roger Green, who succeeded Brian Morgan, who retired from the post in 2014, having spent 15 years overseeing and expanding the archive. Mr. Morgan followed Phil Sykes and Charles Chapman in this role.
The BAPRAS archive holds a number of photographs, some of which depict staff and treatment procedures from the First World War, although the majority of the items are from plastic surgery personalities from the 1930s and the Second World War. The BAPRAS archive has a collection of plastic surgery instruments, for example, that belonged to Professor Joseph, who was the pioneer of cosmetic rhinoplasty. All BAPRAS-archived instruments are available for viewing and can be accessed online (
On my way back to Korea, I thought about the history of Korean plastic surgery. The Korean Society of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgery (KSPRS) was founded in 1966, and the first volume of the Journal of the Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (Taehan Sŏnghyŏng Oekwa Hakhoe chi) appeared in October 1974 (Fig. 1). Starting with vol. 39 (2012), it was continued as Archives of Plastic Surgery (APS). We marked our 50th anniversary in 2016. The KSPRS has its own office with sample space, and the pioneers of the KSPRS are getting very old; some of them have even passed away.
It is time to create our archives: the Archives of Korean Plastic Surgery. We should gather all our experiences and knowledge of plastic surgery in the past, including memories of working with or being a patient of the pioneering Korean plastic surgeons. When pioneers retire, the KSPRS should try to persuade them to donate their relics. A room should be dedicated as a space for the archives, and famous instruments and relics should be photographed and exhibited online.
There is an Oriental saying that “Tigers die and leave their skins; people die and leave their names.” We should preserve our ancestors’ relics and the spirits that are inside of them.


No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

Fig. 1.

The first issue of JKSPRS

The first issue of the Journal of the Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (Taehan Sŏnghyŏng Oekwa Hakhoe chi), vol. 1, no. 1, October 1974. Left, cover; right: table of contents. Donated from Dr. Lee Taik Ho (Board No. 9).
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