Rhinoplasty is a very popular cosmetic surgery procedure as patients have the treatment to change the shape, size and look of their nose. In addition, people often have rhinoplasty to help the breathing process and enjoy the ability to breathe easier. Rhinoplasty has been around for thousands of years so let’s take a look at the history of nose jobs as well as the future of rhinoplasty techniques.
The performance of rhinoplasty AKA nose reconstruction surgery dates back as far as the sixth century when an Indian physician outlined a technique for rebuilding noses known as the forehead flap method. This surgery was performed on patients who had lost their noses as a rather bloody form of criminal punishment.
It took until the 16th century for developments in rhinoplasty techniques to emerge. A massive outbreak of syphilis left many people suffering from disfigured noses. The reconstruction of the nose was attempted to hide the symptoms of syphilis and lessen the stigma of having the disease. In addition, Italian surgeon Gaspare Tagliacozzi introduced a rhinoplasty method that reconstructed the nose using skin from the upper arm of the patient. While this method required the upper arm of the patient to be strapped to their nose for two weeks, it was viewed as being a good alternative to facial scars caused by the sixth century method of rhinoplasty described above. It should be noted that Gaspare’s method did not work well in cold climates as the new nose would sometimes fall off after turning purple so this method fell out of favor.
It wasn’t until the 19th century that purely aesthetic rhinoplasty was put into use to change or alter the look of intact noses instead of replacing disfigured or missing noses. In 1887, American otolaryngologist John Orlando Roe documented what is considered to be the first modern rhinoplasty surgery on a patient that wanted to make a change in the look of the nose due to having a “pug nose”. The rhinoplasty surgery was performed inside the nose in order to eliminate external scars.
The need for advancements in rhinoplasty techniques also grew after World War I as soldiers that were injured or disfigured during the war were often in need of facial reconstruction.
Rhinoplasty techniques have evolved to the point that the surgery is performed on a daily basis across the United States and around the world. During modern rhinoplasty surgeries, the bone and cartilage of the patient is manipulated in order to change or alter the size and shape of the nose. Rhinoplasty can be a cosmetic procedure to change the shape and look of the nose or it can be a functional surgery that corrects issues with breathing for the patient. In addition, the rhinoplasty surgery can address both cosmetic and functional issues at the same time.
Open rhinoplasty is when the incisions for the surgery are made on the outside of the nose which might leave a visible scar. Closed rhinoplasty is when the incisions are made on the inside of the nose so there are no visible scars after the surgery.
When it comes to having rhinoplasty, the idea of the proper aesthetics for the look of the nose is constantly evolving. One of the main factors that contribute to the appearance of the nose is the various celebrities that patients try to emulate with their appearance. Patients will bring reference photos with them to a consultation appointment to show doctors the nose they want to achieve. In addition, there is a long list of celebrities that have admitted to undergoing rhinoplasty and they include Janet Jackson, Iggy Azalea, Jennifer Anniston, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Grey and Tyra Banks.
While rhinoplasty continues to be a popular plastic surgery choice among patients, there has been a recent decline in the number of traditional rhinoplasty surgeries performed on patients. In 2018, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reported a decrease of 45% in the number of rhinoplasty surgeries performed in 2018 (as compared to 2000). One of the reasons that traditional rhinoplasty is decreasing in popularity is the growing use of non-surgical rhinoplasty alternatives such as liquid rhinoplasty AKA a non-surgical nose job. This procedure is performed by injecting filler into targeted areas of the nose in order to provide balance to the specific features or areas of the nose. A liquid nose job only takes about 30 minutes to perform and requires very little downtime on the part of the patient. The person having the filer injected into the nose can simply visit a doctor on their lunch hour and have the procedure performed in time to go back to work.
Patients should be aware that a non-surgical rhinoplasty procedure does not provide permanent results and the procedure will have to be repeated to maintain the desired results. Plus, filler injections only add volume to the nose and they cannot remove a bump on the nose or narrow a bridge that is apparent on the nose.
In recent years, the ideas of inclusivity and body positivity have grown in popularity among patients of all ages. The idea of “fitting in” with everyone is less popular now as more people are looking to feel comfortable in their own skin. Some patients are even looking to have a “reverse nose job” to add minor bumps back to their nose after previously undergoing rhinoplasty.
While social media has been blamed for many patients wanting to have surgery to achieve a look that is more like the people they view online, social media has also been a way for others to realize that there are many people in the world that “look like them” and are happy with their natural look.
The future of rhinoplasty is wide open as more people embrace non-surgical methods and want to maintain a natural look as opposed to a “picture perfect” nose. Imperfections in the nose are becoming more accepted by the public and it looks like traditional rhinoplasty will have to share time with non-surgical nose jobs in the future.