The History of Rhinoplasty

After breast augmentation, rhinoplasty was the most sought-after cosmetic surgery from my Beverly Hills practice last year, and the year-end statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons shows a similar trend in nose surgery. What makes rhinoplasty so popular, and what’s the history behind it?

Early Beginnings

The roots of rhinoplasty can be traced back to ancient India and Egypt, where the punishments for many crimes involved cutting off the nose (and sometimes other extremities). This led to experimentations on criminals for reconstruction of the affected body part. Plastic surgery techniques involving the nose were also published by Roman and Byzantine doctors during the height of the Roman Empire. Eventually, these ancient texts made their way into translation for use in Western medicine.

One of the first nose jobs, performed in the late 16th century, involved attaching part of the patient’s bicep muscle to his nose, then leaving the arm attached for a few weeks before separating the arm and nose and reshaping the skin into an improved nose shape. Luckily, medical techniques have advanced quite a bit since then!

Modern Nose Surgery

These days, rhinoplasty can be performed with either a single minimal scar where the center of the nose meets the indentation above the upper lip, or can be entirely scarless, with all incisions made inside the nose only. Cosmetic surgery on the nose, more than any other facial feature, can bring your entire appearance into better symmetry and harmony. Rhinoplasty can make the nose larger, smaller or change the shape in subtle ways to bring out the best in your face. However, it’s important to find an experienced surgeon with plenty of experience in this notoriously challenging surgery for the best results.


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