This is our second theme issue on research in facial plastic surgery. In this specialty, more often dominated by art and craft and creative surgeons than by science and patient scientists, quality research remains an important path to improved care for our patients. Review of the articles in this and the previous research theme issue reveals the breadth and depth of the science and technology published.
Wound healing is the basic science of our specialty. Studies of growth factors, nerve regeneration, gene expression, etc, will provide the foundation to transform physicians’ abilities to control wound repair. Scar formation and specifically poor scarring remain a central mystery in wound repair. With some minor exceptions, treatments for keloids, for example, remain essentially unchanged over the past 25 years. Tissue engineering seems poised to deliver on its promise of unlimited “replacement parts” for reconstructive surgery. Laser light therapies are being developed so rapidly that it is all but impossible to carefully evaluate and compare them. In a similar manner, biomaterials and new technological implementation of established materials continue to expand possibilities in both reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.