Part 2: The short story of plastic surgery (476 d.C-1816 d.C)

16 10 2008

The fall of Rome in the 5th century and the barbarian invasions made these techniques disappear. And the Middle Ages was a period of backwardness. With a few exceptions: in the 920 in  the Leechbook of Bald, the English text of ancient medical practices, there was the description of the first operation to correct cleft palate: a malformation of the palate that during pregnancy is not firm.
But in the 13th century Pope Innocent III forbade surgery, and most of the doctors of th time began to consider dishonorable and vulgar the manuality of surgery which turned responsibility of the barbers. The plastic surgery was then reintroduced in Europe in the 9th -12th century by Arabs whom learned those in the Indo valley and brought those in the Mediterranean once again after Spain and Sicily had been conquested.

Cerrahiye-i Ilhaniye, the first illustrated text of surgery is assets of turkish-Islamic literature: Serafeddin Sabuncuoglu described there the techniques of maxillo-facial surgery, diseases of the eyelids and gynecomastia: still today his technique to remove the glandular tissue anticipates modern reductive mammoplastic.

At the Boulogne University, Italy, Leonardo Fioravanti disclosed the technique of transplantation. This goes back to Hindu civilization, around 2500 years ago, but it was reintroduced in Europe by the Arabs. The first description of Fioravanti, dates back to 1570 when “a Spanish gentleman called Andreas Gutiero, which had been cut off the nose in a duel, it had been dropped it in the sand and that I had in my hand, was full of sand: I urinate on it and I washed with it, I sticked it leaving it there 8-10 days. “. rough but effective.

A scyentific middle age illustration mixed with astrology

But in the 16th Century another dark period started for surgery, which than saw the light again thanks to the English just in the 18th century after India was conquested.

Lucas, a British surgeon, described the reconstruction of the nose by an Indian Koomas. Shortly before, was the 1791, Chopard reconstructed a lip using a flap of skin turned from the neck.
Among the readers of the full story of Joseph Lucas was Carpue, a York Hospital surgeon in Chelsea in England: he drilled on corpses and in 1814 accomplished the first step on a British official who had lost his nose for a poorly made aterapia basis on mercury, and on another journalist maimed by a saber. Carpue published his work under the title “Restoration of a Lost Nose” in 1816 giving new splendor to the Indian Rhinoplastic.

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