Plastic surgery may have only gained popularity in recent times, but the pioneers have long paved the way for what it is now. In fact, the person considered as the Father of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery was born in the 16th century!
He was Gaspare Tagliacozzi, an Italian surgeon who earned his degree in medicine and philosophy at the young age of 24. Tagliacozzi was born in Bolgna, Italy in 1545 and remained there until his death in November, 1599 at age 54. Though he may not have travelled much, Tagliacozzi single-handedly revolutionized what is today referred to as a rhinoplasty procedure.
Tagliacozzi was known for developing the “Italian method” of nasal reconstruction. Tagliacozzi’s process involved carefully slicing a flap of skin from the patient’s bicep area, without completely removing it so the cells would not decay. This flap would then be held and attached to the patient’s nose area, where it was grafted onto the face. The patient would then have to remain in this position for several weeks until the skin from the arm fully attached to the face. The skin was then detached and reshaped to resemble a nose.
This procedure was extremely uncomfortable and impractical, immobilizing the patient for a significant period of time. However, for the time, it was extremely effective! He also wrote the book, “On the Surgery of Mutilation by Grafting,” which earned him the honor of being one of the world’s first recognized plastic surgeons.
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