Page 54 - Science India August 2022
P. 54

Swatantrata ka Amrut Mahotsava
junior Branca although improvised the technique by taking the skin not from the cheek but from the arms of the per- son for whom the nose job was being done. They were considered pioneers in this field although they left no trace of literature from which one could either infer their training or details of their technique. They guarded the procedure with utmost secrecy.
The process of restoring dignity quickly spread wider and in 1502, Alessandro Benedetti recorded the pro- cedure in medical literature. He care- fully examined the patients treated by the ‘Branca method’ of rhinoplasty and noted that the restructured nose did not withstand severe winters and in some cases external hair started to grow on the nose. This method was further prac- ticed and perfected by another Italian from Bologna called Gaspar Tagliacozzi who is hailed as the father of rhinoplas- ty in Italy. He published the complete details of the procedure in 1597 and this later came to be known as the Italian Method of Rhinoplasty. Interestingly Tagliacozzi was criticised posthumously
and even the Church played an impor- tant role in preventing the promulgation of his treatise.
Back to India and fast forwarding to the 1700s, there was a serious politi- cal tension building in the subcontinent between Tipu Sultan and the British- ers. Tipu was not at all happy with the Britishers. He left no stone unturned to quash them. One of his strategies was to raid the convoy that supplied food and grains to the Britishers. The Sul- tan gave rewards for each nose, ear, or bullock brought back after a raid. Little did he know that such an act would indirectly spur interest in rhinoplasty. There appeared a ‘Letter to the Editor’ in the Gentleman’s Magazine, in Lon- don, 1794, signed simply with the ini- tials “B. L.” It is speculated that these belonged to Cully Lyon Lucas, an Eng- lish surgeon who learned the practice of total nasal reconstruction while work- ing in Madras. Although the content of this letter was published seven months before in Bombay Journal, it was the English version published in 1794 that was responsible for the renaissance of
nasal reconstructive surgery. The begin- ning portion of the letter is as follows:
“A friend has transmitted to me, from the East Indies, the following very curious, and, in Europe, I believe, a known chirurgical operation, which has long been practiced in India with success; namely, affixing a new nose on a man’s face. The person represented is now in Bombay.
Cowasjee, a Mahratta of the caste of husbandman, was a bullock-driver with the English army in the War of 1792, and was made a prisoner of Tipu who cut off his nose and one of his hands. In the state of the Bombay army near Serin- gapatam is now a pensioner of Honor- able East India Company. For about 12 months he has remained without a nose whenhehadanewoneputonbyaman of the brickmaker caste, near Puna. This operation is now common in India, and has been practiced from time memorial. Two medical gentlemen, Mr. Thomas Caruso and Mr. James Trindaley of the Bombay Presidency, have seen it per- formed as follows:”
And what followed is the procedure
   Image Courtesy: History of reconstructive rhinoplasty
Leonardo Fioravanti (far left) whose 1570 book, Il Tesoro della Vita Humana (left), contains the description of Vianeo’s procedure of nasal repair

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