Notes from the John Martin Rare Book Room, November, 2013
Tagliacozzi was professor of surgery and anatomy at Bologna. This work, “Concerning the surgery of the mutilated by grafting,” is a classic in the history of plastic surgery and is especially noteworthy for its description of rhinoplasty. Rhinoplasty had been practiced in ancient India and, in the thirteenth century, by a family of itinerant Sicilian surgeons who kept the operation a family secret. The volume is divided into two parts: “Theory of the art of plastic surgery,” and, “Practice of the art,” which describes and illustrates the instruments and operative procedures for restoration of the nose, lip, and ear. Tagliacozzi also fully discussed the complications, such as hemorrhage and gangrene, that often occurred during these operations.