Microsurgery: Transplantation and Replantation by Harry J. Buncke, MD, et al.
  Table of Contents / Epilogue
  As pointed out in the Acknowledgments, Mr. Thomas Gibson, past Chief of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Unit in Canniesburn, Scotland, and the past editor of the British Journal of Plastic Surgery, first stimulated my interest in the possibility of tissue transplantation by vascular repair. I had the privilege of working as a senior house officer and registrar at the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow, Scotland, from January to June of 1957. On many occasions during that time, Mr. Gibson talked about some of the challenging frontiers in plastic surgery. He pointed out that blocks of tissue could be transplanted by the immediate hook-up of the principal feeding vessels, circumventing the classical tubed- pedicle delayed transfer techniques. The rabbit ear amputation and replantation and monkey toe-to-hand articles, here reprinted in toto with permission of the British Journal of Plastic Surgery, outline my first approach to this project after discussions with Mr. Gibson. Interestingly enough, at the same time, he was exploring the "viscoelastic" quality of the skin. I worked with him and his bioengineering colleagues on testing gadgets to measure skin tension at the time of flap transfer. He foresaw the possibility of stretching skin to obtain greater quantities. The skin expander designed by Radovan and others is a direct extension of these concepts.

My peripatetic microsurgical laboratory research efforts were based for a while at the Asiatic Animal Import establishment in Burlingame, California. Through my nurse-secretary at the time, Nora Christensen, and her friend, Fred Richards, I met Mr. Stanford Gluck, who invited me to do research at his primate center. The monkey finger amputation-replantation experiment and the toe-to-hand transplant experiment, together with the rabbit ear replant work, formed the basis for an NIH Grant, for which I applied in 1966. Following are a few paragraphs from the grant application, which was turned down because the reviewers felt that most of the work had already been accomplished. It took another 25 years, however, to bring microsurgery to its present clinical level in our active microsurgical replantation transplantation unit. Almost all of the objectives outlined in the grant of 1966 have now been achieved except for the "homozoostorage" of organs, which may still have great potential. Because of the pressures of the animal rights groups and others, we may have to look for human volunteers to undergo immunosuppression so that they may act as surrogate hosts to store these organs for future use.




From January 1, 1966 through December 31, 1970

Total Amount Requested: $145,877

Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California

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