Rhinoplasty Throughout History
Rhinoplasty has a deep history- much more so than many realise. In fact, the procedure can be tracked as far back as 3000-2500 BC. The procedure has advanced throughout the years due to the evolution of both education and research, but in order to understand how far it’s come, it is important to acknowledge where it started.
The procedure first appears in ancient India and Egypt. In India it was first documented by Sushruta, considered the “father of plastic surgery,” first notes the practice of nose reconstruction in the Sushruta Samhita, an important Sanskrit medical text. Thought to have lived between 1,000 and 600 BC, Sushruta developed a method of taking a portion of skin from the forehead and reshaping it onto the nose in order to repair facial disfigurement caused by injury or in battle.
Rhinoplasty as a means of repair would continue across time and cultures. The process was documented in antiquity, classical antiquity, the middle ages, through modern times.
The origins of cosmetic rhinoplasty are more modern in nature. In the 18th century, Sushruta’s technique was “rediscovered” and in 1818, German physician Karl Ferdinand von Grafe published Rhinoplastik, a book describing multiple historical procedures for rebuilding the nose throughout history. The book’s publishing renewed interest and study in rhinoplasty and other cosmetic reconstruction techniques.
In 1845, Johann Friedrich Dieffenbach’s Operative Chirurgie put cosmetic rhinoplasty on the map, introducing the concept of rhinoplasty as a means of cosmetic surgery. This led to the first official surgery in the United States in 1891 by Dr. John Orlando Roe, which was done to remove a nasal hump. Subsequent surgeries led to further improvements, and in 1928, Prussian plastic surgeon Jacques Joseph published a book describing refined techniques for nose reduction surgery, including internal incisions.
Now, rhinoplasty is performed for a variety of reasons. For some, it is for medical reasons or to repair the nose following trauma, as first documented in history. For others, it is for cosmetic reasons. Men seek rhinoplasty. Women seek rhinoplasty. Whatever the reason- be it cosmetic or medical- its benefits extend beyond the physical to improve quality of life.
Kalpesh Patel is a rhinoplasty specialist with a wide variety of experience and expertise. Take a look at our rhinoplasty before and after pictures to view a little of the work done, and call us for a consultation.