What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a surgery that changes the shape of the nose, stemming from the Greek words “rhino” which means the nose, and “plastikos” which means to be molded. Although the procedure is over a hundred years old, it is an enduring surgery that permanently and positively enhances one’s personal appearance. Throughout the years, it has been continually improved upon, with more precision and thoughtfulness.

A bit of history

The first rhinoplasty was performed in the U.S. by an otolaryngologist John Orlando Roe (1848–1915) in 1887. He performed the first modern endonasal rhinoplasty (closed rhinoplasty) and wrote about his management of saddle nose deformities from trauma and syphilis. In the 1970’s, Dr. Ivo F. Padovan presented his technical approach in performing open rhinoplasty, where a small incision in the skin between the nostrils allowed for better accessibility to the nasal bones and cartilages. Because of the increased ease of surgery and better visibility for young surgeons using the open approach, it has become the most popular approach in rhinoplasty.  

Rhinoplasty began as an answer for individuals’ social and medical concerns about their noses.  Many early patients were of ethnicities with prominent noses, who looked to rhinoplasty to help them assimilate in Western culture. This cultural desire continues to be a driving factor for rhinoplasty today for many individuals. Trauma that causes the nose to be off-centered is also a powerful motivator for today’s rhinoplasty patient, as human symmetry is a deep psychological desire we all share. Other patients simply want to reduce the prominence of their nose, or create better aesthetic lines for their faces. No matter the reason, many choose this well-tolerated procedure to bring better aesthetic balance to their face. 

Enhancing natural beauty

In facial plastic surgery, rhinoplasty is one of the few surgeries that truly enhances people’s natural beauty because it creates a beautiful frame around the eyes, from eyebrow to nasal tip. It re-focuses the viewer’s attention to the eyes, where much of our expressiveness lies. When performed well, it often de-emphasizes the nose and brings it into better balance with the rest of the face. 

While it may sound dramatic, a natural-looking rhinoplasty can be a subtle yet life-changing procedure that improves self-confidence and one’s love for their facial features. As a facial plastic surgeon, I’ve had the privilege to see patients experience this transformation first-hand as I help them achieve their desired aesthetics. Visit the rhinoplasty page to learn more about this procedure.