- For many centuries plastic surgical operations have been practised incidentally by general surgeons. Both World Wars combined with a multidisciplinary approach have been instrumental to the development of plastic surgery as a speciality. The Great War experience of maxillofacial surgery was for some surgeons in Europe a reason to dedicate their lives solely towards plastic surgery. A prominent Dutch surgeon in this field was J.F.S.Esser. With his systematic study and clinical application of arterial flaps in plastic surgery he proved to be far ahead of his time.
Plastic surgery as such was established in the Netherlands after World War II in 1950 by the triumvirate Koch, Raadsveld and Honig. In the beginning, plastic surgery was strongly British influenced, while now, 50 years later, European cooperation on harmonisation of the training in plastic surgery of a good quality is in progress.