We would like to take this opportunity to respond to comments related to our manuscript entitled “Respiratory distress in Pierre Robin sequence: an experience with mandible traction by wires.” We appreciate the positive comments made by our colleague and would like to address the questions brought up in regards to giving appropriate credit and reviewing historic data.
The letter to the editor mentions that we did not quote the original paper by S tellmach published in 1957 describing the use of a circum-mandibular wire for traction on the mandible. In our article we clearly mention that we applied the technique described by S tellmach in the article published in 1968 . In this publication , S tellmach presents a series of 15 cases in which he used the technique which we used and had excellent results in 14 cases (out of 15) with long term follow-up. The technique we used employed steel wires, where the type of traction and the duration of traction was much more similar to S tellmach ‘s article from 1968 . In his original publication from 1957 , S tellmach reported a case of traction on the mandible by a single circum-mandibular wire; the traction lasted for several months and patient died at the age of 8 months of life. Our manuscript was not intended to be a historic paper and the author who described the technique (S tellmach ) was given full credit for his work.
The commenter had an issue with the percentage of cases operated on by the senior author (BU). As mentioned in our manuscript, between 1980 and 2008 the senior author has personally performed 90% of the surgeries on the children who underwent this technique in our centre; other surgeons operated the other 10%. We have confirmed once again that none of the cases reported in this series were operated on by Professor Curioni, who we all consider to be a true master.
It is our strong belief that our mentors are like our fathers, where we wholeheartedly and blindly give them the credit and recognition they deserve. We appreciate Professor Clauser’s concerns and desire to properly give credit where it is due; for a person who does not recognize his mentors and their contributions is like a person who denies his roots. Although we appreciate the comments made by our colleague, we find it disappointing that he felt the need to criticize our loyalty to our masters.
We thank the Editor for the opportunity to respond.