Extensive knowledge in reconstructive surgery of the face and head area is the basis for successful functional reconstructive surgery after injuries and tumor resection. Particularly in the tumor therapy reconstructive surgery is an essential curative element, because lacking this knowledge radical tumor surgery will not always be possible. The purpose of this paper is to summarize and discuss the proved and fundamental methods out of the immense number of reconstructive surgical methods published. For six regions of the face and head (forehead, nose, orbit, cheek, lip and auricle) the most important and basic operative procedures are reviewed. In some cases of surgical techniques the historical development was investigated, because the origin of these methods was not always clearly enough known or reported.