Royal Belgian Society

History of the RBSPS


The Belgian Society for 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. Steenbruggen. The initiator, Dr. Maurice Coelst, was the first honorary member.
The object of the Society was the scientific study of plastic surgery and related specialties and the organisation of congresses and lectures to promote the development of plastic surgery.

Initially a small group of just five members, the society has grown into a major organization: 80 nominal members, 20 affiliated members and 75 aspiring members. In addition the Society has 12 honorary members and 16 foreign members.

Nominal members are officially recognized Belgian and Luxemburg plastic surgeons who confine their practice to plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery and have made major scientific contributions to the Societyís activities.

From informal evening meetings in the fifties, these activities have evolved into two full-day congresses a year, at which information is conveyed and discussed at a high level.

With the extension of plastic surgery the Societyís name was changed to ëBelgian Society for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeryí. Today the Society has sub-committees for the study of burns, microsurgery and aesthetic surgery.

Twice a year the Society awards a prize to a personal, scientific study of exceptional quality by a Belgian or Luxemburg plastic surgeon or assistant in training.

The Society supports the activities of the Collegium Chirurgicum Plasticum Belgicum. This Collegium organizes, at a national level, education days and annual exams for all housemen in plastic surgery. Passing those exams has meanwhile become a requirement to be considered for recognition as a specialist in plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery. This, with the long training period of six years (two years of basic general medicine and four years of plastic surgery in one of the seven approved training centres in Belgium and Luxemburg), guarantees an extremely high level of specialization in plastic surgery.

Plastic surgery is a very extensive field, which covers two principal domains: reconstructive and aesthetic surgery. Reconstructive surgery covers the correction of congenital defects of head, neck, hands and breasts, treatment of soft tissue injuries all over the body, facial fractures, resection of benign and malign skin tumours and soft tissue and hand surgery. There are special teams for burns, breast reconstructions and transsexual issues. The most common interventions are nose corrections, eyelid surgery, facelifts, correction of prominent ears, breast reductions or breast augmentations, stomach surgery and in recent years liposuction or liposculpture.

Plastic surgery is a fast growing speciality that is still evolving. Plastic surgeons have extended their range to include microsurgery, endoscopic surgery and laser treatments.

The Royal Belgian Society for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (became "Royal" in 2005 for its 50th anniversary) is committed to keeping its members up to date with all new developments and novelties.

RBSPS Former President : Prof. Guido Matton, M.D.