The Lebanese Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: History 1966 -1985
Sameer I Shehadi, MD
Over the past few years several friends and plastic surgery colleagues have suggested I write a history of the Lebanese Society of Plastic and Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (LPRAS). I procrastinated and delayed this task for a long time. However, a recent wave of misinformation and disinformation regarding the early days of the society surfaced during and after an unfortunate presentation at a recent meeting of the Society. This made accurate documentation of this history urgent and necessary.
The following account of the early history of the Lebanese Society of Plastic and Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (LPRAS) is accurate, unbiased and is based on the following reliable sources:
- My personal memory since I was actively involved in, and lived this story day by day, from its inception to the launching of the society
- I was active in writing up the original set of Regulations of the Lebanese Society of Plastic and Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (LPRAS). The original document of these Regulations is still in my possession in the original English version and later translation into French by Dr. Robert Daoud. Copies of both documents are enclosed for your archives and to support this account.
- I have contacted other members of the original founders to verify all facts in this history.
The first suggestion or idea to start the Lebanese Society of Plastic and Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (LPRAS) came from Dr. Philip Antypas, then assistant professor of Plastic Surgery at the American University of Beirut. In the winter months of 1965 to 1966 Dr. Philip Antypas approached Dr Sameer I. Shehadi and Dr. Fawzi Abou-Jamra,with his idea to start the Society, both at the time where serving as assistant professors of Plastic Surgery at the American University of Beirut. All three agreed with the idea to launch the Lebanese Society of Plastic and Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (LPRAS). Over the next few months, Drs. Antvpas Shehadi and Abou-Jamra, met informally every week at the nearby Alumni Club of the American University and formulated the objectives, and structure of the organization and wrote up the Rules and Regulation of the Lebanese Society of Plastic and Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (LPRAS). Later on they invited Drs. Robert Daoud and Edmond Massoud, both from Hotel Dieu de France and Dr. Najdat Pasha who was in private practice, to join the society.
I recall vividly at the time the overriding objective and the basic thrust the founding members all shared in launching the Society was to define the specialty of Plastic Surgery, then unknown in Lebanese society, and emphasize training, competence and accreditation.
In early spring of 1966, a formal meeting of all six founding members was held to ratify the final draft of Regulations and officially launch the Lebanese Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. During that meeting the following officers were elected:
- President; Dr. Philip Antypas, from the American University of Beirut.
- Vice President: Dr. Edmond Massoud, from Hotel Dieu De France.
- Secretary: Dr. Robert Daoud from Hotel Dieu De France
- Treasurer: Dr Najdat Pasha, private practice.
- Counselors: Dr. Sameer I. Shehadi and Dr. Fawzi Abou Jamra both from the American University of Beirut.
Elections were to be held every two years and the term of all officers could be renewed. Please note that all six founding surgeons included all practicing and well trained plastic surgeons in Lebanon at that time and all these same six surgeons comprised the total membership in the society.
The sequence of elected presidents of the society was as follows:
- Dr. Philip Antypas, served from 1966 to 1968, then reelected in 1968 to 1970.
- Dr. Edmond Massoud, from 1970 to 1972.
- Dr. Sameer I. Shehadi, from 1972 to 1974.
After 1974 elections could not be held in Lebanon, as a result of the Lebanese Civil War and the events that transpired. Dr. Shehadi served as a de facto President of the Lebanese Society of Plastic and Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (LPRAS) till 1984. In 1984 Dr. Shehadi left to the US to join St. Louis University School of Medicine as a Professor and Chairman of the Division of Plastic Surgery, and handed all documents and files of the Lebanese Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to Dr. Samir Srouji, then Secretary, to ensure continuity of the Society.
Sameer I. Shehadi, MD
Emeritus Professor of Plastic Surgery
American University of Beirut, School of Medicine, Beirut, Lebanon
Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO., USA