The author of this page came very early into contact with plastic facial surgery. He was a medical student in 2002 during a professional internship in San Francisco, California and visited the famous Buncke Clinic. The clinic, named after Dr. Harry Buncke (1922-2008), is considered the cradle of microsurgery. Harry Buncke was one of the first plastic surgeons to recognize the value of microscopic surgery and one of the first to push a microscope into the operating room. On his initiative, his clinical and scientific pioneering work, instruments were developed that were characterized by previously unknown refinement and workmanship: the micro-instrument set. The highly complex procedure of functionally replacing a lost thumb with the microsurgical transplantation of a toe, which is part of the repertoire of a microsurgeon and is also carried out by the author of this site time and again, can be traced back to essential pioneering work by Harry Buncke in his research laboratory. The outstanding personality of Harry Buncke left a lasting deep impression on the author. Buncke remained associated with microsurgery into old age and was seen in the operating rooms of his clinic alongside his senior physicians until almost the end of his life in 2008.
In the Buncke Clinic, the author was then allowed to attend a very special microsurgical procedure: a five-year-old girl with congenital complete facial paralysis had a functioning muscle transplanted from her thigh to the paretic (paralyzed) half of her face to revive her facial expressions. A donor nerve had already been transplanted from her lower leg months earlier in preparation. Full of awe, the American assistant doctors present at the time whispered to the author: "this operation here is as cool as plastic surgery gets...".
The great routine of the specialists and the technical possibilities of microsurgery fascinated the author so much that from this point on he was confirmed even more in his wish to learn plastic-reconstructive surgery. All this was more than 17 years ago. The author now carries out all complex operations for the reconstruction of facial paresis patients himself. In his passion "to reanimate the paralyzed face" he did not lose a touch of fascination. The interventions still fascinate him today as they did then.