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April 2002

John Orlando Roe: Father of Aesthetic Rhinoplasty

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2002 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2002

Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2002;4(2):122-123. doi:

JOHN ORLANDO ROE (1848-1915) (Figure 1), an otolaryngologist who hailed from Rochester, NY, should be rightfully credited as the father of aesthetic rhinoplasty. Unfortunately, his contemporary, Jacques Joseph, has often been unjustly heralded as the proper bearer of this title.1-2 Although Joseph's contributions at the time to the nascent field of facial plastic surgery should not be underestimated, Roe's pioneering endeavors were truly innovative and clearly antedated Joseph's work by 11 years. Joseph, often curmudgeonly disposed, would turn irascible and flush a bright red when his rival's name was invoked in his presence—an incident that Aufricht recounted—and would infrequently and erroneously cite Roe's achievements.3 Unlike the prevailing extranasal technique of the day—which marked the patient's nose with multiple incisions and which differs radically from present, external techniques—Roe devised a unique intranasal approach that corrected the tip, or a "pug-nose" deformity, his findings of which were published in 1887, and the dorsum, or "angular deformities," which was reported 4 years later. His first article in 1887 demonstrated his technique with preoperative and postoperative illustrations (Figure 2), which Joseph would later adopt in 1898 with his single case study. Moreover, Roe's second article in 1891 was historic in the use of preoperative and postoperative photographs to document his findings (Figure 3), which Joseph would also use much later in 1902.