History of Plastic Surgery

History of Nasal Reconstruction The art of plastic surgery started over two thousand years ago in Ancient India. In that time, shameful crimes such as adultery were punishable by amputating the convicts nose and/or ears. The first nasal reconstruction procedures were most likely reconstructive rhinoplasties ( nose jobs ) to repair noses and ears that were mutilated after this form of punishment. The art of nasal reconstruction was most likely further developed in the treatment of soldiers who lost body parts lost in battle. Hindu surgeon Sushruta, working near the modern-day city of Varanasi described the “attached flap” method of plastic surgery in his 600 B.C. 

The technique was described in his writings called the Sushruta Samhita. The procedure involves reconstructing the nose by cutting skin from either the cheek or forehead, twisting the skin skin-side-out over a leaf of the appropriate size, and sewing the skin into place. The modern methods for nasal reconstruction were derived from these original descriptions, and really haven't changed dramatically since that time. To keep the air passages open during healing, two polished wooden tubes would be inserted into the nostrils. This method of nasal reconstruction became known as the “Indian Method of Rhinoplasty” and was kept secret for centuries in India.  

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