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          of rhinoplasty as described in Sushruta Samhita with a slight improvisation that this time the skin was not dissected from the cheek, but from the forehead. Definitely, the Indians were experiment- ing over several millennia and thus one is unable to precisely point out when the modification, preferring skin from forehead to cheek, happened in history.
An interesting foray into a small histo- riographical news must be retold at this juncture. The Venetian adventurer Nico- lo Manuzzi had composed a detailed manuscript about the Mughal Empire in the 17th century towards the end of his life. Accurate details of rhinoplasty, as it was in vogue during that time, were present in his manuscript. Although this manuscript was returned to Europe from India in the early 18th century, it was not published. It was not until the Englishman William Irvine translated the manuscripts and published the first four parts in 1907 that the sections con- taining the Indian method of nasal re- construction came to light once again in Europe. By this time the technique was widely known and practiced, thanks to the letter in the Gentleman’s Maga- zine in 1794.
Joseph Carpue (1764–1840), an English surgeon at the York Hospital in Chelsea, was perhaps influenced by this article and was, most likely, the first European to practice the modified ‘Indian Method’ of rhinoplasty using the median forehead flap. He presented this technique in the European Surgical Honoratarium. The following abstract and portions from his ‘Account of Two Successful Operations for Restoring a Lost Nose’ published in 1816 are of his- torical interest:
“On undertaking the first of the two cases to be hereafter narrated, I was in- duced to make such personal inquiries as were within my reach in this coun- try, concerning the Indian method. I did myself the honor to write Sr. Charles Mallet, who had resided many years in India, who obligingly confirmed to me the report that this had been a common
All Images Courtesy: Internet
Joseph Carpue (1764–1840) was likely the first European to practice the Indian method of total rhinoplasty
operation in India from time memorial; adding that it had always been per- formed by the caste of potters or brick- makers, and that though not invariably, it was usually successful.”
It must also be noted that around this time, early 19th century, the Royal Society of Surgeons gets formed and for the first time, the English surgeons take up rhinoplasty, the Indian method, with much seriousness. In 1818, the German Carl von Graefe publishes his book Rhi- noplastik in Berlin. Among the various chapters, this book included Carpue’s work. It aroused the interests of both the lay and medical professionals. Surgeons across Europe and America turned to the total nasal constructions using the Indian method. The most notable reviews of surgical trials from the early 19th century include those of Delpech (1824), Labat (1834), Blanden (1836), Dieffenbach (1829–1834), Listen (1837), Zeus (1838), Velpeau (1839), Serve (1842), Von Aiman and
The last Indian who actively practiced rhinoplasty as described in Ayurvedic texts was Tribhovandas Motichand Shah, Chief Medical Officer of Junagadh
Baumgarten (1842), and Jobert (1849). These forerunners of plastic surgery advanced the ‘Indian method’ for rhi- noplasty. The last Indian who actively practiced rhinoplasty the way described in the Ayurvedic text was Tribhovandas Motichand Shah, Chief Medical Offi- cer of Junagadh. He published a book titled Rhinoplasty in 1889, in which he is stated to have carried out 100 cases in four years.
Thus, we see that the humble begin- nings of restoring dignity originating from India spread far and wide across the world. It has even inspired authors to an extent that novelist like Harry Turtle- dove who, in his fictional novel Justin- ian, mentions that the Byzantine Em- peror Justinian II travelled all the way to India to have his nose reconstructed. When scientific or technological feats find mention in a piece of popular lit- erature, it gets immortalised. Indeed, the Indian origins of rhinoplasty are so very much immortalised that when the fa- mous Science journal ran a special issue on Bionic Man in Feb 2002, containing in it a chapter on historical highlights in bionics and related medicine, it elicited the following comment from Prof Rick Nelson of the Department of Surgery at the University of Illinois, Chicago, which was also published in the Science journal (April 2002 Vol 296 p 656):
*The writer is an Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, IIT (BHU) Varanasi

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