History and role of the Belgian Society of Plastic,
Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Accepted: 1 February 2005 / Published online: 29 April 2005
Ó Springer-Verlag 2005
The Belgian Society of Plastic Surgery was founded in
1955. The ﬁve founding members were Dr. M. Coelst,
Dr. A. de Coninck, Dr. J. Polus, Dr. A. Fardeau and Dr.
C. Steenebruggen. Dr. Maurice Coelst was the initiator
and ﬁrst president, and later became the ﬁrst honorary
The purpose of the Society was the scientiﬁc study of
plastic surgery and related specialties, and the organi-
zation of congresses and conferences to promote the
development of plastic surgery.
From a very small group of ﬁve members, the Society
has grown to a considerable size: 80 full members, 20
associated members and 75 candidate members. The
Society also counts 12 honorary members and 16 foreign
Full members are oﬃcially-certiﬁed Belgian and
Luxembourg plastic surgeons who limit their activities
to the domain of plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic
surgery and who have made signiﬁcant scientiﬁc con-
tributions to the activities of the Society.
These activities have grown from informal evening
meetings in the 1950’s to presently two full-day con-
gresses every year, during which communications of
high scientiﬁc standard are presented and discussed.
Because of the expansion of plastic surgery, the name
of the Society has been changed into ‘‘Belgian Society of
Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery’’ and
comprises subchapters for the study of burns, micro-
surgery and aesthetic surgery.
The Society sponsors a two-yearly prize, which is
attributed to a personal scientiﬁc study of exceptionally
high standards by a Belgian or Luxembourg plastic
surgeon or trainee.
The Society also sponsors the activities of the Colle-
gium Chirurgicum Plasticum Belgicum. This Collegium
organizes teaching days and yearly examinations for
all plastic surgery trainees on a national scale. Success-
fully passing these evaluations has become a prerequisite
for obtaining certiﬁcation as a specialist in plastic,
reconstructive and aesthetic surgery. Together with a
training of 6 years: 2 years of basic general surgery and 4
years of plastic surgery in one of the seven certiﬁed
training centers in Belgium and Luxembourg,this system
ensures a very high standard of specialization in plastic
Many members participate very actively in many
scientiﬁc societies in Belgium and abroad. The Belgian
participation in EURAPS is very strong, and the prize
for the best presentation has been awarded to Belgian
plastic surgeons several times.
The Society has a close relationship with its Dutch
sister Society. Every 2 years a joint meeting is held,
alternately in Belgium and in The Netherlands.
In 2005 the Belgian Society of Plastic, Reconstructive
and Aesthetic Surgery will celebrate its 50th anniversary
with a 2-day Congress in Brussels on May 6 and 7.
On the occasion of the Congress, a commemorative
book will be published highlighting and illustrating the
history of the Society.
Finally, the Society is very grateful to Ian Jackson for
allowing its members to ﬁll an entire issue of the Euro-
pean Journal of Plastic Surgery.
P. de Smet de Naeyerplein 5, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Eur J Plast Surg (2005) 28: 118