Injuries of the nose, with marked deformity, are in a measure combated by devices invented for restoring the missing portions of the injured member. Taliacoitus, the distinguished Italian surgeon of the sixteenth century, devised an operation that now bears his name, and consists in fashioning a nose from the fleshy tissues of the arm. The arm is approximated to the head and held in this position by an apparatus or system of bandages for about ten days, at which time it is supposed that it can be severed, and further trimming and paring of the nose is practised. A column is subsequently made from the upper lip.
-Drs. George M. Gould & Walter L. Pyle, in Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine. 1900.
Using one body part to save or regenerate another is apparently a much older practice than I thought. Attaching a severed foot, ear, or other extremity to the highly-vascularized stomach to regenerate vessels before attempting re-attachment at its proper site is fairly common these days. It’s especially common in re-attachment attempts where the severed body part was detached for an extended period of time that normally would result in an unsuccessful re-attachment.