The History of Rhinoplasty


Rhinoplasty, more commonly known as a “nose job,” is a cosmetic surgery procedure that is meant to correct and/or reconstruct the nose. This can include reforming the shape of the nose, restoring the nose’s functions, or correcting nasal trauma or congenital defect.

Despite seeming like a modern medical advancement, rhinoplasty, in one form or another, has been around since ancient times. One of the first instances of rhinoplasty development was in India by the Hindu surgeon Susrata around 500 BCE. He used skin from the forehead of a patient to form a new nose. This reconstruction method was later translated into Arabic and English and further developed. Other methods were also developed in Italy by Gaspare Tagliacozzi in the 1500s. Throughout history, rhinoplasty was used to reconstruct the nose after an accident or punishment.

It was in 1898 when rhinoplasty was first used for cosmetic purposes. The patient was a young man whose nose caused him so much embarrassment that he would not leave the house. His surgeon was able to perform a successful rhinoplasty and the first cosmetic ‘nose job’ occurred. Afterwards, this unique cosmetic procedure was further developed and became common among Hollywood actors and actresses from the 1930s onwards. Today, this type of procedure is considered the second most popular type of cosmetic surgery, directly after breast augmentation. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were 217,124 nose jobs conducted in 2014 alone.

Types of Rhinoplasty

There are many different types of rhinoplasty procedures, depending on the desired result. Some of the most common include:

  • Revision Rhinoplasty: This type of nasal surgery is performed when problems develop or persist after a previous rhinoplasty surgery.
  • Reduction Rhinoplasty: Patients who wish to reduce the size of their nose typically opt for this type of rhinoplasty.
  • Tip Rhinoplasty: Patients who want a more refined, elegant nasal tip can opt for this type of procedure.
  • Augmentation Rhinoplasty: This type of surgery increases the dimensions of the nose.
  • Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty: There are non-surgical procedures that can be used to alter the shape and appearance of the nose. This is achieved with injectable fillers.
Article by
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon