Aged book shows rhinoplasty has come a long way
April 25, 2011
Today, rhinoplasty is a common procedure that carries few risks and a relatively short recovery time. A 19th century book recently uncovered by researchers shows that this was not always the case - long ago, nose reshaping was quite an ordeal, according to The Daily Mail.
The publication, titled Surgical Observations on the Restoration of the Nose; and on the Removal of Polypi and Other Tumors from the Nostrils, was written in 1833. The book was a guide for surgeons on how to carry out procedures, and the details found inside can be rather grim.
The author, John Stevenson, included some of his own drawings depicting certain procedures. Despite the difference in the methods of surgery, it seems that the reasons for wanting to undergo the operation remain more or less the same - individuals in the book often had misshapen or over-sized noses.
Additionally, some people mentioned in the book were attempting to repair or reconstruct their noses. For instance, part of the publication discusses a Baron who had lost the tip of his nose while dueling, according to the news source.
The tools used by plastic surgeons in the 1800s were not nearly as sophisticated as those today. The book describes the use of knives, pins and needles, but perhaps most shockingly, there is no mention of pain relief or anesthesia in the pages of the book. However, there are instructions on how to hold a patient down.
Though it is believed that such operations predate the publication of the book, it appears there was a gap in written information about how to conduct such procedures between the 16th century and the publication of Stevenson's work.
"It is a very interesting subject but cosmetic surgery is much older than the 19th century," said Chris Albury, one of the auctioneers overseeing the sale of the book. "We recently sold a book about the practice that dated from the 16th century. However, it does show that celebrities today are not the first in this country to undergo the surgeon's knife to improve the look of their noses."
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery recently released statistics that listed rhinoplasty as one of the top five surgical procedures for men, second only to liposuction.
Those who are considering nose reshaping should feel at ease that this evolved surgical procedure has a long history. A visit to a board-certified plastic surgeon's office can help you answer any questions about rhinoplasty.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.
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