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Why We Are Here: Early Reflections on the Role of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery in the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings

Carty, Matthew J. M.D.; Caterson, Edward J. M.D., Ph.D.; Caterson, Stephanie A. M.D.; Chun, Yoon S. M.D.; Erdmann-Sager, Jessica M.D.; Hadad, Ivan M.D.; Halvorson, Eric G. M.D.; Orgill, Dennis P. M.D., Ph.D.; Sampson, Christian E. M.D.; Talbot, Simon G. M.D.; Theman, Todd M.D.; Eriksson, Elof M.D., Ph.D.

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3182a98054
Reconstructive: Special Topic

Summary: The 2013 Boston Marathon bombings resulted in a large and unexpected influx of patients requiring acute multidisciplinary surgical care. The authors describe the surgical management experience of these patients at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Brigham & Women’s Faulkner Hospital, with a particular focus on the important role played by reconstructive plastic surgery. The authors suggest that this experience illustrates the value of reconstructive plastic surgery in the treatment of these patients specifically and of trauma patients in general, and argue for the increasing importance of promoting our identity as a specialty.

Author Information

Boston, Mass.

From the Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Plastic Surgery Combined Residency Program.

Received for publication June 3, 2013; accepted July 1, 2013.

Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.

Matthew J. Carty, M.D., BWH Division of Plastic Surgery at Faulkner Hospital, 1153 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, Mass. 02130,

©2013American Society of Plastic Surgeons