Page 53 - Science India August 2022
P. 53

           Left: An etching depicting the ‘Italian method’ of nasal reconstruction
Below: A statue of Gaspare Tagliacozzi, the 16th century surgeon hailed as the father of rhinoplasty in Italy, holding a nose in his hand, in an academic building at Bologna, Italy
 Image Courtesy: Gaspare Tagliacozzi/Wikimedia Commons
Image Courtesy: History of reconstructive rhinoplasty
(Ref: Sushruta Samhita, Sutrasthana
licorice, etc. must be sprinkled over it along with sesame oil. Ghee is used for Slokas 27-31)
internal oleation of the patient as well as The procedure of rhinoplasty is de-
Around the 8th century CE, several Indian texts were translated into Ara- bic (Sushruta Samhita was translated as Kitab-i-Susurd) and it was during the same time that the Arabs invaded the town of Sicily in Italy. Although there is no tangible record, it is widely believed by the historians that it was the Arabs who introduced the Indian texts and particularly the Sushruta Samhita to the Italians. For, in the 15th century CE, we get to know of a father-son duo named Branca being hailed as the master sur- geons in reconstructing the mutilated nose. Their procedure matches exactly the way it was detailed in the Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hridaya. The
scribed in the above-mentioned shlokas from which the following procedure is inferred:
‘The portion of the nose to be cov- ered should be first measured with a leaf. Skin of the required size, gauged through the leas measurement, must be dissected from the cheek and turned back to cover the nose and not complete- ly detaching the skin from the cheek. Care must be taken to scrap the dam- aged nose to bleed before placing the dis- sected flap. Two tubes must be inserted and the whole thing must be properly bandaged. Powders or red sandalwood,
therapeutic purgation.’
Like many texts of our country, the
dating of Sushruta Samhita is also mired in controversy as there is exists a wide speculation from 1000 to 600 BCE. Interestingly, the procedure remained in vogue for over a millennium for we find a more refined and step-by-step procedure in the Ashtanga Hridaya by Vagbhata who is dated to the 4th centu- ry CE. Literal continuity for over 1000 years suggests the heightened demand of rhinoplasty as well as its active prac- tice in the country.

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