A picture tells more than a thousand words. Words can be misunderstood, deceiving or understood in a subjective manner. Reading and hearing words requires time, concentration and thought.
There are shortcuts to transferring realistic information. Photographs, which have now been retouched or processed are a depiction of the event, meeting, or finished work,. A depiction of options in space and time. Here is presented a gallery of photographs featuring events and work results past and present. They depict interesting people. With a click you can see the photograph and read a comment.
In the past, treating breast cancer was like going on an adventure - like wandering in the fog and the dark or climbing a steep cliff with no safety measures and no sense of direction. It was an unimaginable test with no end in sight. But these first heroic, cruel, and innovative attempts at treatment of breast cancer slowly led us to the techniques we know today. Today, medical science has a lot more to offer. It can provide a tiring, but safe journey with a clearly defined path, a multi-level security system and a clear goal. The journey from disease to health is largely predictable. The team of medical experts, each of them responsible for one of the steps of the journey, is a guarantee for hope, realistic expectations and success.
Surgeons that have sufficient experience and knowledge can offer the patient a variety of quality options to consider. This means a bespoke treatment for every woman. Individually. Not only can we replace the lost part of the body, we can restore physical integrity and even improve her bodily appearance as it was before the disease. The level of success for every reconstruction is thus measured by the satisfaction of patients whose integrity has been restored together with their ability to confidently engage with their everyday lives, their strength to face the rest of the treatment and their ability to enjoy life. In the before & after gallery, different types of successful reconstruction have been described.
I have frequently wondered how to make the best use of my time. Whether to suture thin vessels under the microscope and give the tissue a new function and form, to reveal the exciting world of surgery to young colleagues or, maybe, to place the final period at the end of a sentence in the last chapter of a book that may be able to give people hope and joy.
Thanks to all my friends around the world who deliver healing gifts to all humankind with dedication and professionalism - hard working, creative surgeons with whom I discuss my desires, ideas and, literally, dreams - searching for new ways to extend our reach.
ART. Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature. ART. The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium. And a human body could be a medium for the plastic surgeon…
I love art. Art that inspires and makes life better; I therefore share a few works from my own collection with you.
Ancient Egyptian painting
Cup with a Young Woman Playing the Pipes, from Greek, Athens, 520 - 510 B.C
Giovanni Lanfranco. St Peter Healing St Agatha (1614.)
Illustration of a woman having a breast operation
Drawing from 1600-1699. The operator excises the breast with the "tenaculumhelvetianum".
Johan Scultetus. Surgical tools from Armametariumchirurgicum, 17.th century.
Denis Diderot and Jean le Ron d’Alembert: Surgical instruments, breast cancer (1777).
Muldery: dr. Robert Liston examing a young woman before surgery, private collection
Author: Robert C. Hinkley
Dr Hal Foster examines a patient before operation
Joseph Charles Franchere: Dr.Hingston operating a breast
Breast operation, photography from 1894. Private collection.
William Stuart Halsted during an operation
Illustration from Johns Hopkins Press,Baltimore. 1924. William Halsted Surgery: cancer of the breast, field operation, just before the final cut.
dr. Fidel PagésMiravé
L.Harris: Dr Robert Abbe during a visit to a French colleague tried out his radio therapeutic machine for treating cancer
Ancient Egyptians were the first to note the disease before 3000 BC (Edwin Smith and George Ebers papyri). The first doctors wrote of the mysterious disease: “There is no treatment!”
Credit: Wellcome Gallery London (used in accordance with Wellcome Gallery London generous open-access policy).
Themost famous Greek doctor, considered breast surgery dangerous because he noticed that patients who had the tumor excised “perished quickly; while those who had not lived longer. Because the first attempts of medical treatment for breast cancer showed only poor results, it is not surprising that the oldest known works of art related to breast cancer treatment are of nonmedical nature. These were votive figures of breasts and ‘’mastos’’ - ancient Greek drinking vessel shaped like a woman's breast . In ancient Greece and Rome, people made small statues and cups in the shape of different bodily parts for the purpose of sacrificing them in the temples of the god of health, Asclepius, hoping that such a gesture would protect the specific part of the body they represented.
Cup and photograpy are in possession of J.Paul Getty Museum. Used in accordance with their generous Open content program.
Like Hippocrates, famous Roman doctor Galen also believed breast cancer was a systemic disease; the dark bile or melancholia in Ancient Greek, was believed to course throughout the entire body - so even if a tumor were removed, the bile would still remain in the body, ready to create more tumors.There is also an interesting legend about first ''pseudoreconstruction'' after ''pseudomastectomy'', which origins go back to early Christian tradition in ancient Rome. The story is about Saint Agatha, who was tortured and one of the tortures she supposedly suffered was to have her breasts cut off. She survived and was imprisoned and as legends says, night after the torment Agatha was visited by St. Peter, who restored her breasts and healed her wounds.
National Gallery in Parma, Italy. Wikipedia: Agatha of Sicily. 2009.
Dark middle ages for breasts
Although the middle ages were not as dark as usually perceived, breast surgery and the breast in general became taboo. At the council of Tours in 1162, the Church banned all kinds of breast procedures for few centuries, even breastfeeding was discouraged in upper classes, because it kept women infertile for longer.
Wellcome Library, London. Credit: Wellcome Gallery London (used in accordance with Wellcome Gallery London generous open-access policy).
Surgery in the 16th and 17th century
Until the 19th century, no anaesthesia was known. Hygiene was also not a strong point of surgeons of that era; stains of blood and other bodilyfluids on black operating suitswere seen as a sign of experience, surgical gloves were still to be discovered, and even washing hands before and after every procedure was very uncommon. All this made surgeons very unpopular and the number of procedures very limited. Before the year 1600, there were only 200 operations in New York and London, and even those frequently ended in death.
Credit: Wellcome Library, London, UK.
To prevent the patient from bleeding out, the “surgeon” simultaneously cauterized the tissue with a glowing hot iron.
Private collection (with kind permission of R. Mazzola)
The fact that in the 16th and 17th century the pain during operation was alleviated only by means of alcohol, leaded to an effort to create tools with which to cut off the breast in the shortest time possible, thereby minimizing the pain of the procedure.
The fastest hand was once a golden one
dr. Robert Liston a Scottish pioneer of surgery, was known as the fastest hand of his time, for example, he was able to amputate the leg in less than 3 minutes. He sprung across the blood-stained boards upon his swooning, sweating, strapped-down patient like a duellist, calling, 'Time me gentlemen, time me!' to students craning with pocket watches from the iron-railinged galleries.
First diagnostic tools were only the hands and eyes of the surgeon
Medicine used to be based solely on the physical examination. Although it is on one hand fascinating to see what an experienced physician’s eye can notice and understand, some diseases elude such a diagnostic method. Tumors were thus often discovered in a very advanced phase, when treatment was more or less (un)successful. More in the section Art.
Sir William Hales Hingston was a fine example how very versatile were doctors in the past. As medical knowledge was much more superficial than today, surgeons were once able to perform more than just one profession at the time. For example, dr. Hingston, born in 1829, despite studying medicine and becoming a very well-known surgeon, who moved the boundaries of knowledge in his time and published much in scientific publications, he still (very excellently) did work as a general physician, he was a renowned Canadian politician, a banker and even a senator of Rougemont and the mayor of Montreal. More in the section Art.
Breast Surgery in the 19th century
The development of antiseptics, anaesthesia and blood transfusion in 19th procedure less cruel and survival after a surgery more possible.
William Stuart Halsted
William Stuart Halsted started new era in surgical treatment of breast cancer: His method presents a turning point in breast cancer treatment and has held the leading role for nearly 100 years, up until the end of the nineteen-eighties, when less radical breast cancer operations began to take the stage. Even though he was fighting his cocaine addiction for many years, Halsted was one of the most distinguished surgeons of his time and a teaching professor at the John Hopkins University.More in the section Art.
Although radical mastectomy helped women survive longer, especially if performed early, many women did not choose it since it left them disfigured. In addition there were problems like a deformed chest wall, lymphedema or swelling in the arm due to lymph node removal and pain. With advent of modern medicine, by 1995, less than 10 percent of breast cancer-inflicted women had a mastectomy. This time also saw the development of novel therapies for breast cancer including hormone treatments, surgeries and biological therapies (although first attempts at treatments of this kind go back to the beginning o 20th century).
Credit: Wellcome Library, London
Breast cancer and start of additional treatment
In 1895, Scottish surgeon George Beatson discovered that removing the ovaries from one of his patients shrank her breast tumor. As this caught on, many surgeons began removing both ovaries and performing a radical mastectomy for breast cancers. This reduction of the tumor after removal of the ovaries was due to the fact that estrogen from ovaries helped in growth of the tumor and their removal helped reduce the size of the tumor. dr.Fidel PagésMiravé, the surgeon preparing to preform an ovariectomy on the picture, was a Spanish military surgeon, known for developing the technique of epidural anesthesia. He practised a wide range of traumatological and surgical techniques, both for war injuries and civil purposes. More in the section Art.
First use of radiotherapy for treating breast cancer
Robert Abbe (April 13, 1851 – March 7, 1928): although he was most known as a plastic surgeon, he also introduced the practice of using radiation to treat cancer and founded the science of radiation oncology. In the beginning of 20th century he befriended the Curies and with them explored the medical uses of radiation and x-rays. He was a vigorous opponent of the use of tobacco which he considered a cause of cancer and reported over 100 cases of smoker's cancer. He died of anaemia, possibly due to his work handling radium.
Restoring the outlook of deformed chest and breast reconstruction
Soon after they discovered that they can help women with breast cancer by removing the breast, there was a tendency to try and find ways of breast reconstruction. Because first surgical breast reconstructions in the 19th century were not very promising, the easiest way for restoring the outlook of deformed chest after mastectomy, were breast prostheses. Sometimes women used just provisory, homemade ''devices'' like a small sack of barely to replace the defects in their bras. In 1904, paraffin injections, often a combination of petroleum jelly and olive oil, were used – all of them unsuccessfully. Even in 1980s surgical breast reconstruction with patient own tissue, results were far from ideal.
Personalisation of the reconstructed breast
In numerous developed countries today, breast reconstruction is a routine procedure and integral part of breast cancer treatment which enables the restoration of physical integrity. The word reconstruction signifies an array of methods which are chosen individually for every patient after discussion and examination; one of the greatest challenges of reconstructive surgery today is what we call the “personalisation” of the reconstructed breast, which means not just making a new breast, but choosing the procedure and the shape of new breast that will enable the most effective reconstruction and will bring best results in particular patient with particular body characteristics.
There are many ways to get you smiling again
As modern surgical techniques and materials allow for the removal of the cancerous tissue and an immediate reconstruction with tissue expanders and anatomical implants, nipple reconstruction and the tattooing of the areola, only few notice the difference between the healthy and reconstructed breast.
There are many ways to get you smiling again
Knowledge of microsurgery lets us restore, even after the oncological treatment, the patient’s bodily balance, self-confidence and smile.
There are many ways to get you smiling again
Being breastless, maimed – a bad memory of the hardest era of life, and having a new breast. Both known only by those patients that took the path from the bottom to the top.
They all have happiness, self-confidence, and a better life in common.
A smile and happiness as the best fashion accessory.
Picture (A) shows the right breast cancer patient before treatment. Picture (B) is the result one year after the excision of the tumor of her right breast, the oncoplastic reconstruction and the reduction and reshaping of her other breast can be seen in the picture. After surgical treatment, the patient's breasts are, due to quality planning of the procedure, completely symmetrical and lovelier than they were before.
Picture (A) shows the left breast cancer patient before the treatment. Picture (B) is a digital simulation of the breast after the oncological part of the procedure (if the patient had not chosen reconstruction). The real result one year after immediate reconstruction with free transfer of tissue from the belly, chosen by the patient, can be seen in (C). Only one procedure is necessary to surgically remove the cancer and continue with reconstruction, thus (re)creating a pair of symmetrical and beautifully shaped breasts.
Picture (A) shows the young patient after oncological treatment and mastectomy of the left breast. The result of a delayed reconstruction with free tissue transfer from the belly using a 3D mold can be seen in (B). Even several years after the surgical treatment, we can still create a pair of symmetrical and beautifully shaped breasts. Modern technology and 3D modeling can be very successfully used when planning and executing the procedure.
Picture (A) shows the left breast cancer patient before the treatment. Picture (B) is a digital simulation of the breast after the oncological part of the procedure (if the patient had not chosen reconstruction). The real result after surgical removal of the left breast and a two-stage reconstruction using a tissue expander and an anatomically shaped silicone implant (Allergan ST-410MF, 335 g) can be seen in (C). Reconstructive surgeons can achieve quality results using different kinds of reconstruction and will always comply with the wishes of the patients. In the case of implant reconstruction there are no additional abdominal scars.
Picture (A) shows the patient with a mutated BRCA 1 gene before the prophylactic mastectomy of both breasts. Picture (B) is a digital simulation of the final result of the oncological part of the procedure (if the patient had not chosen reconstruction). The real result after surgical removal of both breasts and reconstruction using tissue expanders and anatomically shaped silicone implants (both breasts contains the Mentor CPG 323 implant, 495 ccm) can be seen in (C). By choosing identical anatomically shaped implants in reconstruction, we can restore the harmony of the body - a pair of symmetrical and beautifully shaped, youthful looking breasts.
Picture (A) shows the left breast cancer patient before the treatment and after surgical treatment of the cancer in the right breast. Picture (B) is a digital simulation of the final result of the oncological part of the procedure (if the patient had not chosen reconstruction). The real result after immediate reconstruction with free tissue transfer from the belly and simultaneous correction of the healthy breast, chosen by the patient, can be seen in (C). Only one procedure is necessary to achieve bodily harmony and a pair of beautiful, youthful looking breasts.
Picture (A) shows the patient before the surgical treatment of the cancer in both breasts. Picture (B) is a digital simulation of the final result of the oncological part of the procedure (if the patient had not chosen reconstruction). The real result of the surgical removal of both breasts, a two-stage reconstruction using a tissue expander and two identical anatomically shaped silicone implants can be seen in (C). Even in cases when cancer reappears on the previously healthy breast, there are various techniques available to achieve a pair of decent, youthful looking breasts.
A breast augmentation is commonly performed, elective surgical procedure designed to add volume and change the shape of the breast.
The exact technique varies from patient to patient depending on the women's needs or desires and the surgeon's judgment. The surgery under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia requires one to two hours depending upon the exact procedure. The vast majority of patients achieve good results and are satisfied.
In the majority of cases, the result are subtle enough to go unnoticed by casual observers, yet significant enough to satisfy most patient's expectations.
A breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty) and mastopexy (tailoring of the breast skin) are designed to reduce the size of the breasts as well to improve their shape.
Mastopexy (tailoring of the breast skin)
The exact technique varies from case to case depending on the women's needs or desires and the surgeon's judgment. The surgery under general anesthesia (rarely under local anesthesia with sedation) requires two to three hours depending upon the exact procedure. Most of the patients are quite satisfied after procedure. In some situations a second "touch-up" procedure may be appropriate. Scars after reduction mammaplasty are commonly red, sensitive and quite visible early on after surgery, but these may become quite indistinct over a period of six to twelve months or more.
Correction of beast asymmetry is designed to improve the shape and size of the breasts as well to correct the position.
The exact technique varies from case to case depending on the women's needs or desires and the surgeon's judgment. The surgery under general anesthesia (rarely under local anesthesia with sedation) requires two to three hours depending upon the exact procedure.
Most of the patients are quite satisfied after procedure. In some situations a second "touch-up" procedure may be appropriate.
By choosing the proper surgical techniques, we wish to make the corrected breast and the whole body look as natural as possible using different techniques and silicone implants.
Sculptor's eyes see a future masterpiece in shapeless stone and a surgeon's eyes see the future beauty and harmony where there is an asymmetric, flawed, or maimed body.
Even when the most complex of problems are being dealt with, one must not forget to pause, think and look at the simplest of details. Sometimes the naked eye and average knowledge are not strong enough tools to achieve that. The image is sharpened by using magnifying surgical glasses, expert knowledge and skills, and years of experience. Since we cannot resmelt the body like metal, a plan must be made with a pen, before using the scalpel.
After the final touches, the surgeon‘s satisfaction reflects the happiness of the patient and the surgeon’s own standards.
Congresses are like vibrant fairs, with attendees giving and receiving knowledge, spreading the beginnings of good practice, and unveiling revolutionary ideas – for a better world and a better future. Fellows in Science congress was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from 18th to 21st of September 2013 was dedicated to Marko Godina, an esteemed Slovenian plastic surgeon and reconstructive microsurgery pioneer. More on http://www.fellows-in-science.com
AHČAN, Uroš. Modern approach to breast reconstruction, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Department of Plastic Surgery, Washington, USA. AHČAN Uroš. Autologous reconstruction or implants : invited lecture at the Contemporary breast cancer therapy and reconstruction, Duino, Italy . AHČAN Uroš. Redefining breast surgery: sharing experience and building knowledge : invited lecture at the Barcelona Breast Meeting, Barcelona, Spain. AHČAN, Uroš. State of the art breast reconstruction : invited lecture at the West Virginia University, Department of surgery, USA. AHČAN, Uroš. Breast reconstruction with autologos tissue : invited lecture at the meeting of the Danish Society of Plastic nad Reconstructive Surgery, Ringvej, Denmark. AHČAN Uroš, DE VITA Roy, SISMONDI Piero, COLOMBINI Edro. Chirurgia riconstruttiva della mammella : invited lecture, live surgery at the Breast unit Sant'Anna, della Breast Unit Ospedale Valdese di Torino, Italy.
AHČAN, Uroš. How to Choose Right Implant for Reconstruction. 2 Stage Approach CPG-CPX. How to manage Complications, Acibadem University Hospital Istanbul, Turkey. AHČAN Uroš. Two team approach and the use of reverse engineering technology as two methods for optimization of autologous breast reconstruction outcome after mastectomy, European Association of Plastic Surgeons, 22nd Annual Meeting, Mykonos, Greece. AHČAN Uroš. Reverse engineering technology as a new and inovative technique in breast reconstruction : invited lecture at the Symposium in Reconstructive Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA. AHČAN, Uroš. Breast reconstruction with implants : invited lecture at Breast Augmentation & Reconstruction Workshop, Bucharest, Romania. AHČAN Uroš. Advances in breast reconstruction : invited lecture, live surgery at the R. A. S. P. Recent Advances in Plastic Surgery, symposium in Belgrade, Serbia. AHČAN Uroš. Breast reconstruction with autologos tissue: invited lecture, live surgery at the 3rd Allergan Croatian Breast Academy at University Hospital Center Zagreb, Croatia. AHČAN Uroš. Current concept in breast reconstruction : invited lecture, live surgery of the Balkan Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Sarajevo, Bosnia i Herzegovina, Uroš Ahčan. Current concepts in breast reconstruction : invited lecture at the 5th International School ob Breast Imaging, Ljubljana, AHČAN Uroš. Selecting the right implant. Preoperative measurement. One vs Two stage reconstruction. State of the art breast reconstruction - MDT approach. Live surgery Herzen s Moscow Cancer Research Institute. Stražišar Branka, Bešić Nikola, Ahčan Uroš. Does a continuous local anaesthetic pain treatment after immediate tissue expander reconstruction more efficienctly reduce acute postoperative pain in breast carcinoma patients?, International Forum on Medicine, Montreal, Canada. Butala Peter, Bračun Drago, Ahčan Uroš. Clinical application of reverse engineering techniques in antologous reconstruction of brests after mastectomy : invited lectures to 62nd CIRP General Assembly, Hong Kong, China
Gratitude can be expressed in different ways, and all of them affect the body and the soul in a beneficial way. The relationships between teachers and pupils, and colleagues have been the same – special – for centuries. “Thank you” has a magical meaning in surgery, too.
Good company. Family, friends, creators, pioneers. Emotions, information, time well spent.
Per HEDÉN MD, PhD., founder and partner of Akademikliniken, one of Europe´s largest private plastic surgery hospital, where a world leading experience Ivica Ducic, M.D., Ph.D. Professor of Plastic Surgery & Neurosurgery, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, Fu-Chan Wei, MD Professor of Surgery Dean of Chang Gung University Medical College Taiwan, Milorim Ninković, MD, PhD Head of Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Hand Surgery, Burn Centre, Hospital Bogenhausen, Technical University Munich, Germany, prof. Samir Mardini, MD, professor of Surgery Mayo Clinic, Rochester Minnesota, prof. Steven L. Moran, MD, professor of Ortopedics and Plastic Surgery Mayo Clinic, Rochester Minnesota, Prof. Michel Saint-Cyr, professor of Plastic Surgery Dallas, Texas, Dr Luiz Toledo - Expert Plastic & Cosmetic Surgeon in Dubai, Lee Dellon, M.D., PhD., an accomplished Plastic Surgeon as well as a Professor of Plastic Surgery and Neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, Marie Siemionow, M.D., Ph.D., a world renowned scientist and microsurgeon, Director of Plastic Surgery Research and Head of Microsurgical Training for Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Berish Strauch, a founding father of microsurgery, chairman emeritus of surgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Alexey Volchenko, MD, Plastic Surgery, Chief Surgeon Institute of Plastic Surgery, Moscow, Moscow Research Cancer Institute, Aleksey Borovikov, MD, professor, a member of the Russian Society of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, awarded by the Lenin Komsomol Prize for the development of reconstructive microsurgery.
A book is the most beautiful gift.
Thanks to all my colleagues for their courage and inspiration, for their selfless support that fuels my work through their kind words.
You are not alone
Drawing personal accounts from women who have faced the issues for real, it aims to help you to better understand breast reconstruction: the surgical process involved and the possible benefits and problems you might expect from this type of surgery. The Book features full colour illustrations to help show exactly what is involved, explores psychological aspects of breast reconstruction, addresses the options for those who decide not to undergo reconstructive surgery and explains how other treatments may affect or be affected by reconstruction. More in The Book section.
During the Enlightenment, there was an effort in France to create a comprehensive overview of all the knowledge and the Arts of that time. This Encyclopedia was edited by Diderot and d’Alembert, with over 50 contributing writers, including Voltaire, Condillac, d’Holbach, Montesquieu and Rousseau. Among the various topics, there was also a description of surgical instruments required to perform a mastectomy. Because until the 19th century, no anaesthesia was known, the fastes the surgery was performed, the better. That leaded to an effort to create tools with which to cut off the breast in the shortest time possible, thereby minimizing the pain of the procedure.
Dr Robert Liston (1794-1847 was a Scottish pioneer of surgery. Charitable to the poor and tender to the sick, he was known as a very ethical, yet an abrupt, abrasive, argumentative man, to the point that he was very unpopular with his fellow surgeons at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. He mostly worked in an era before anaesthetics, but was the first in Europe to perform an operation under modern anaesthesia, using ether. In his time, it seems unsurprising that speed was of utmost importance, as it ensured both less pain and a greater survival rate. He was known as one of the fastest surgeons, being known to be able to perform some operations in a matter of seconds and reputed of performing greater operations, such as the amputation of a leg in a matter of minutes. One of his colleagues describes him with these words: He was six foot two, and operated in a bottle-green coat with wellington boots. He sprung across the blood-stained boards upon his swooning, sweating, strapped-down patient like a duellist, calling, 'Time me gentlemen, time me!' to students craning with pocket watches from the iron-railinged galleries. Painter William Mulready (1 April 1786 – 7 July 1863) was an Irish genre painter living in London. He is best known for his romanticizing depictions of rural scenes, and for creating Mulready stationery letter sheets, issued at the same time as the Penny Black postage stamp.
Sir William Hales Hingston was a very versatile man; born in 1829, he grew up in a poor family and spent most of his student years literally on bread and water. Despite studying medicine and becoming a very well-known surgeon, who moved the boundaries of knowledge in his time and published much in scientific publications, he still (very excellently) did work as a general physician, he was a renowned Canadian politician, a banker and even a senator of Rougemont and the mayor of Montreal. Queen Victoria knighted him for his services. In spite of all his recognition, he was described as a very modest and most hard-working man; in all his years in the practice he took no vacation, as he always wanted to be available to the people that needed his help. The prices of his services were often ridiculously low, as he saw his profession as a mission and a challenge, and not as a duty. Painter Joseph Charles Franchere (1866-1921) was Canadian painter, born in Montreal. He won three honourable mentions at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and two first prize medals as a student at evening schools in Paris. On his return to Montreal he opened a studio and painted many portraits and religious murals. He also did landscapes, figure and genre paintings.
William Stuart Halsted (September 23, 1852 – September 7, 1922): His method, radical mastectomy, presents a turning point in breast cancer treatment and has held the leading role for nearly 100 years, up until the end of the nineteen-eighties, when less radical breast cancer operations began to take the stage. Even though he was fighting his cocaine addiction for many years (he started using cocaine more or less accidentally while researching its use as a local anaesthetic; he used cocaine on himself and soon became addicted), Halsted was one of the most distinguished surgeons of his time, he invented the sterile surgical glove (the painting was painted before that invention, therefore he is not wearing any gloves on it), he introduced fine silk thread suturing into surgery and was a teaching professor at the John Hopkins University. His dedication to helping patients is shown also in his incredible improvisation abilities during work, when time was a matter of life and death. He once operated on his mother on the kitchen table, and, when operating on his sister, made a transfusion directly from his vein into hers.
Medicine used to be based solely on the physical examination. Although it is on one hand fascinating to see what an experienced physician’s eye can notice and understand, some diseases elude such a diagnostic method. Tumors were thus often discovered in a very advanced phase, when treatment was more or less (un)successful. Dr. Hal Lovelace Foster, (1858-1946) received his medical degree from the University of the City of New York Medical Department. During his time in New York, Dr. Foster studied ear, nose, and throat medicine at several major hospitals and infirmaries. In 1882, he decided to “go west, young man” and opened a practice in Kansas City. When he started, he was the only physician and surgeon in Kansas City specializing in the treatment of ear, nose, and throat diseases. The painter Robert C. Hinckley was born in 1853, and his painting of “the first painless operation” named Ether day, is world-famous. It shows the implementation of ether anaesthesia into modern medicine and is one of the most often used paintings in modern medicine.
Dr Albert Salomon (1883-1976) was a surgeon at the Royal Surgical University Clinic in Berlin, Germany. He is most renowned as a pioneer in mammography. He compared the X-ray images of the breasts before the mastectomy and the actual removed tissue. By studying 3000 cases he was able to provide a base for distinguishing the differences between cancerous and non-cancerous tumors on an X-ray image. His mammographs were able to provide great insight into tumors, their spread and borders. Even though he published this as early as 1913, mammography was not put into practice until much later. As a Jew, he was discharged form the University of Berlin with Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. Salomon was sent to a concentration camp, where he lived until 1939, when he went into hiding in the Netherlands. After the second world war, he moved to Amsterdam and worked there as a professor.
Robert Abbe (April 13, 1851 – March 7, 1928): although he was most known as a plastic surgeon (he served as a surgeon and professor of surgery at the New York Hospital, St. Luke's Hospital, and the New York Babies Hospital and he is credited with the lip switch flap, which now bears his name), he also introduced the practice of using radiation to treat cancer and founded the science of radiation oncology. In the beginning of 20th century he befriended the Curies and with them explored the medical uses of radiation and x-rays. He was a vigorous opponent of the use of tobacco which he considered a cause of cancer and reported over 100 cases of smoker's cancer. He died of anaemia, possibly due to his work handling radium.
dr.Fidel Pagés Miravé (January 26, 1886 - September 21, 1923) was a Spanish military surgeon, known for developing the technique of epidural anesthesia. He practised a wide range of traumatological and surgical techniques, both for war injuries and civil purposes, contributed to the modernisation of surgery in Spain and participated actively in the reorganisation of the Spanish Military Health system in the 1920s. Due to his early accidental death in traffic accident, his pioneering work in epidural anesthesia (or metameric anesthesia as he called it) went unnoticed for many years outside of Spanish speaking countries until he was finally given full credit by the medical community in the 1930s and 40s. (source: Wikipedia. Fidel Pagés. URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fidel_Pag%C3%A9s )
On her painting, the young artist Felicia Olin was able to depict the problem of modern society, with which the women, diagnosed with breast cancer, have to cope. The term is from the Greek "without breast" for which the term "Amazon" came. Amazon women have been described as having their right breast removed in order to become better hunters. This is the depiction of a woman who removed a breast to better fight cancer, a woman with a mastectomy scar. On the side of her scar she has a poppy and a crow, which represent her recent past.
Saint Agatha was renowned for her beauty and is said to have lived on Sicily in the third century, at the height of Christian persecutions. Because she refused to marry Roman aristocrat, she was tortured and one of the tortures she supposedly suffered was to have her breasts cut off. Today, St. Agatha is the patron saint of breast cancer patients. This painting is the work of a young contemporary artist.
Self portrait of the patient Veronika Vidrih after microsurgery breast reconstruction. No aesthetic surgeon is able to change a face in the same way that it is changed seven days after the operation by the patient's smile.
Artists and stonemasons transform a cold, robust mass of stone into eternal, natural form of the body. Plastic surgeons, too, are like artists, transforming and creating shapes, parts of the human body. Good surgeons are able to transform the size and shape, but the best ones can create. A new breast, a new hope, a better life.
Breast cancer treatment and reconstruction are projects for the protection of the wholeness of the female body. She can only see her former incompleteness as a projection of her past when she turns back, and not when she looks forward in a mirror.
The internationally renowned Slovenian photographer Aljoša Rebolj enthusiastically enriched the collection with artistic photographs of women who have beaten breast cancer.
Nowadays, the only sign of a woman having beaten breast cancer is the scar on the new breast’s skin. It also does not need to be taken as an aesthetic flaw, but as a sign of victory. It can therefore be seen as a positive change, akin to the Japanese art of kintsugi, the process of making precious china from broken pieces. The shards are fused together using gold, making a piece, priceless because of its flaws and its unique story.
The internationally renowned Slovenian photographer Aljoša Rebolj enthusiastically enriched the collection with artistic photographs of women who have beaten breast cancer.