Rhinoplasty, more commonly known as a nose job, is a surgical procedure for reshaping the nose by altering the bones and cartilage that make it up. It can make a nose bigger, smaller, thinner, wider, change the angle, remove defects, or repair damage. In some cases, rhinoplasty is necessary to remove obstructions or to correct the set of a nose after it has been broken. In most cases, however, it is elective and cosmetic surgery.

Most people who are unhappy with their noses think of rhinoplasty as a way to solve their problem, and if it goes as expected it most likely will. While their problem may not be as bad as that of Edmond Rostand’s character Cyrano de Bergerac who hid his suffering under a bantering or belligerent attitude, it can still have a significant impact on their personal and sometimes professional lives. Unfortunately, nose jobs don’t always go as expected. There are a lot of well-known botched nose jobs that illustrate just how bad it can get, and highlight the importance of finding a reputable, experienced plastic surgeon.

Rhinoplasty is usually done by a specialist trained in plastic surgery or otolaryngology (ear-nose-throat specialist), for good reasons. It is very easy to do a bad nose job because it is right in your face, so to speak. Even the slightest error is immediately apparent, making the whole face look odd or off-kilter. And when things go wrong, a minimum wait of 12 months is necessary before most surgeons will perform a corrective procedure, so the patient will have to live with that mistake for that long. Hopefully, the next time will go better, but there’s really no guarantee.

Even when the surgeon is extremely skilled, there are still a lot of things that can go wrong. In some cases, the patient doesn’t heal well, or an infection develops. If you must have your nose done, make sure you get the very best doctor available if you want a good chance of getting the desired results.