Early reconstructive surgery, 1860s

Early reconstructive surgery, 1860s

C011/4360 Rights Managed

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This image is part of the feature The First Scientific Photographers

Credit: US NATIONAL MUSEUM OF HEALTH AND MEDICINE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Early reconstructive surgery. Pioneering facial reconstruction in the case of US soldier Carleton Burgan (1844-1915). Burgan was serving with Union forces (Maryland's Purnell Legion) during the US Civil War, when he was treated in August 1862 for pneumonia. The mercury-based drug used was calomel. An ulcer developed on the tongue that spread and destroyed his upper mouth, palate, right cheek and right eye. The cheekbone was removed to prevent further spread of the 'mercurial gangrene'. In 1865, Burgan's face was reconstructed in pioneering work by US plastic surgeon Gurdon Buck (1807-1877). For the initial deformity, see C011/4359.

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