The Byzantine ruler of the Heraclian dynasty, Justinian II, is believed to have undergone nasal reconstruction to repair his mutilated nose. That was to regain his status of emperor in the eighth century.
Circa 2007, the reasons for cosmetic surgery are not as serious.
Adolescents, girls more than boys are increasingly going under the cosmetic surgeons' scalpel, say doctors. Starting young Dr Srijon Mukherji, consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeon, says, "There has been a distinct rise in 16-to-19-year-olds who opt for cosmetic surgery ."
This was not the scenario earlier. "Girls of marriageable age and women post-childbirth used to visit cosmetic surgeons. Now, girls pursuing higher studies or looking for jobs visit us," says Dr Mukherji.
Awareness has increased rapidly in all strata of society, says Dr Manoj Khanna. "Women from smaller towns come to me for breast enlargement. If women want liposuction and breast augmentation, men go for hair transplant," he adds.
Unreal expectations Surgeons don't always agree to the demands. "We try to identify dysmorphophobic patients," says Dr Mukherji.
These are people who have distorted images of themselves. Doctors caution that there is a limit to which one's appearance can be altered.
Dr Khanna recounts, "A model approached me with a picture of Katrina Kaif. She wanted her nose to look like Kaif's"
Cost factor Surgery doesn't come cheap. Dr Khanna says breast augmentation could cost Rs 60,000 to Rs 80,000. Dr Mukherji states nose jobs cost Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000.