The modern plastic surgery has its roots in the Ancient medical science of Ayurveda. Plastic surgery was very developed In ancient India and modern conventional medicine has adopted the principles of Ayurveda to refine and develop its practices.
Joseph Constantine Carpue is known for performing the first rhinoplastic surgery in England, using a technique created in India
several centuries earlier. The Indian rhinoplastic reconstruction involved using a flap of skin taken from the forehead, and was to become known in Europe as “Carpue’s operation”. In 1816 Carpue described the procedure in his publication of “Account of Two Successful Operations for Restoring a Lost Nose from the Integument of the Forehead”.
This Indian rhinoplastic reconstruction is mentioned in a text book of Ayurveda “Sushruta Samhita” a compendium written by Sushruta who lived in India sometime between 1000 and 800 BC. He has described about many surgical instruments and surgeries in his text book. This knowledge was written and documented in his time must have been existent before centuries in ancient India.
The first successful plastic surgery of nose was reported in October 1794 issue of the Gentleman’s magazine of London.
Cowasji, a bullock driver had been imprisoned by king Tipu sultan and his nose cut off in prison. For about 12 months he was without a nose. His nose was later restored by a traditional Surgeon named Kumar near Pune, India using “ancient Indian methods” in 1794 CE. A Britisher named Lucas observed in action the traditional Indian surgery of Cowasji and documented every detail. He even mentioned that this operation is not uncommon in India and has been practised since time immemorial.
These details were accessed by a scientist named Joseph Constantine Carpue. Using these techniques, he performed world’s first “modern Rhinoplasty” 20 years later. In his book “Account of Two Successful Operations for Restoring a Lost Nose from the Integument of the Forehead“, he acknowledges it was performed by “Indians from time immemorial”.He learnt it through his friends who copied from “Hindoo practitioners”. Although Joseph made innovations of his own, he was clearly inspired by the traditional Indian practise and doesn’t fail to acknowledge it.