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Ancient History

600 BC

Nasal surgery was mentioned in hieroglyphs. Example of heiroglyphs that read 'If you examine a man with a broken nose'

India Amputation of the nose was a frequent form of punishment for such crimes as adultery. Susruta Samhita described the reconstruction of the nose with a flap of skin brought down from the forehead in his book, Ayir-Veda.

1450 AD

A family known as Branca used forehead flaps to reconstruct noses and Antonio Branca used a flap of skin from the upper arm.

1597 AD

Gaspare Tagliacozzi, Professor of Anatomy and Medicine in Bologna and the ancient father of plastic surgery, described the operation of upper arm nasal reconstruction in his book, De curtorum chirurgia per insitionem, libri duo published in Venice, 1597. At the time it was regarded as heresy to repair the human form because deformities were an act of God. He was persecuted and eventually his body was reburied in non-consecrated ground. Diagram of Tagliacozzi leather splint to wear while arm skin attaches to the nose

1794 AD

A story was published in the Madras Gazette (and later in the Gentleman's Magazine, London, October 1794) about an Indian bullock driver with the English army named Cowasjee who had his nose and one hand amputated by Sultan Tippoo during the war of 1792. The nose was reconstructed one year later by a man of the brick maker caste near Poonah. The operation was not uncommon in India and had been practised from time immemorial. A thin plate of wax is fitted to the stump of the nose so as to make a nose of good appearance. It is then flattened and laid on the forehead where a line is drawn around it. The forehead flap is cut with a razor, turned down and inserted into an incision to form the nose. The connecting slip of skin is divided about the 25th day. The face of Cowasjee



London, England
Joseph Carpue, F.R.C.S., used the Indian method of nasal reconstruction on an in his Majesty's army on 23rd October at York Hospital, Chelsea. The operation took a quarter of an hour (9 minutes dissection , 6 minutes ligatures) and the patient observed that, It was no child's play - extremely painful - but there was no use in complaining. Carpue wrote that the new nose has every appearance of a natural nose.... The forehead was healed in three months. Diagram of Carpue's forehead flap


Johann Dieffenbach, born 1792, opened his medical practice in Berlin in 1823 and had an interest in plastic surgery from the start. As Professor of Surgery at Berlin University he published a Textbook, Operative Surgery, in which he described the first aesthetic reduction of a large nose. He used external incisions. Johann Dieffenbach

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