Noses come in all shapes and sizes, and any good rhinoplasty (or nose job) surgeon knows that every surgery is therefore also unique. Using exactly the same set of techniques on every nose leads to problems and, more often than not, that "done" look. Therefore, your facial plastic surgeon must possess a large array of different techniques and skills in order to address the various cosmetic concerns related to the nose.

Sometimes, when looking at the nose, we forget that its primary purpose is for breathing. Changing the outer appearance of the nose can also alter its function–and not always for the better. For this reason, rhinoplasty (or the nose job) must achieve a pleasing shape without compromising one's ability to breathe. In fact, there are many people who have rhinoplasty not only to improve the appearance of their noses, but to breathe better, too!

For this reason, any surgeon specializing in rhinoplasty must also have an intimate understanding of nasal function. Facial plastic surgeons must first train in head and neck surgery before going on to complete fellowships in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. As a result, they not only understand the aesthetic relationships of the nose, but also how and when to fix the nose. A smaller nose may look better, but breathing could be worse. Addressing form without impairing function is of tantamount importance in nose surgery.

And finally, in order to start learning how to communicate your cosmetic concerns, I have labeled a photo of the nose here with some fairly common terms. Being able to use these terms to describe the anatomy of your nose will help you and your facial plastic surgeon communicate about the aesthetic goals you have for your nose and face. This is the first step towards understanding the complex topic of rhinoplasty.

Parts of nose