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A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.

—Henry Brooks Adams

The honor of writing a foreword is usually bestowed upon wise, skilled, and qualified experts and teachers. As a perennial student of the authors of this superb work, I feel not only privileged and overjoyed but also humbled by the prospect of writing an introduction for an essential text for surgeons. Perhaps the youth of today’s dermatologic surgery will take for granted yet another treatise on surgical reconstruction of the face. Yet it was not so long ago that a handful of dermatologic surgeons were pioneering their way into unchartered and at times what may have felt like unwelcome territory for their beloved specialty. We often forget that the surgical flaps we readily perform in our offices are the distilled product of years of surgical reconstructive evolution brought about by our multiple and diverse predecessors’ creativity, curiosity, necessity, refinement, and courage sprinkled in with some serendipity. As readers of this text, we have the incredible good fortune to learn from two masters, an ingenious and magnificently understated teacher and his daring and creative student who pushes the reconstructive envelope further and is now teaching others.

This comprehensive text reviews the fundamental principles of surgical reconstruction and then describes the ideal use of those principles in each anatomic region of the face. Solely the work of its authors (and unlike edited texts), this book reads more uniformly and hence its ability to guide the reader from simple to more complex reconstruction never falters. That same uniform quality is manifested in the invaluable clinical photographs that capture the full story of the reconstruction with abundant intraoperative photographs. The text is replete with the complex and challenging defects surgeons face in their daily reality and it explains, using both clarity and honesty, how to progress from “preoperative” to “postoperative” with unpretentious warnings of pitfalls for the beginner. And the authors do not shy away from critically evaluating the limitations of beautiful yet theoretical geometric principles and their use in the very tangible and practicality of a patient’s face. Finally, to top it all off, a collection of narrated videos revealing step-by-step instruction provides the reader with essentially the magician’s secrets and perhaps the fulfillment of a seemingly impossible wish in the form of a virtual apprenticeship.

Just like a teacher who influences eternity, these authors have compiled their experience and wisdom to influence the lives of not only us, their humble students, but also countless grateful patients.

Sumaira Z. Aasi, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Dermatology
Director, Dermatologic and Mohs Surgery
Stanford University
Palo Alto, California

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