African American Smaller Nostrils?

I am a 22 years old black woman and I want to know if surgery can make my nostrils smaller (and keeping their original shape) without touching the rest of my nose. Thanks!

Doctor Answers (8)

Surgery for nostril size only

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Surgery to address the size and shape of the nostrils can be done without operating on the rest of the nose. If you are indeed only concerned with addressing nostrils that are too large and flared and you feel that the remainder of your nose including the tip and bridge are just fine, you could choose to just have alar base surgery to correct both nostril size and flaring. This can be performed under local anesthesia and the recovery is reasonably straightforward with minimal downtime. If on the other hand you are concerned with other areas of the nose in addition to the nostrils, then you may benefit from rhinoplasty including alar base surgery.

You should see a board certified plastic surgeon that performs rhinoplasty to see what are your options and the possible results.


Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Wide nostrils

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Yes you could but I would proceed with caution. We often get focused on one area that bothers us and think that it is all that needs to be addressed. We forget that everything in the nose is interconnected and that sometimes when you change one thing it upsets the balance and something that didn't bother you before now becomes an issue. What I have found in many of my African American patients is that if they narrow the nostrils only it sometimes makes the tip appear larger then before and so it has to be addressed to maintain balance. African American noses are inherently wider very often and you may want your nose to be smaller but to still preserve an ethnic African American look so you may need to address all the parts. Try consulting with a surgeon who uses computer imaging to get a sense of what it might look like with different maneuvers so you can judge better beforehand.

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Nostril reduction can be done leaving a natural look

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The key to getting natural looking nostril reduction is finding a surgeon who has experience with the various techniques available so that he/ she can determine what works for you.

Most surgeons continue to do Weir reductions only which work to reduce the flare of the nostril ( how much the nostril rounds out) but most do not do anything to reduce sill width (the distance from your columella to your nostril).

Getting naturally, narrowed nostrils that maintain your overall shape is most often something that requres a bit of both. 

Warm Regards,

Peyman Solieman, MD

Peyman Solieman, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

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Nostril Reduction works for African American noses

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Nostril narrowing or base reduction is a procedure during cosmetic rhinoplasty that compliments the overall aesthetic result.  The incision leaves a scar which is camouflaged in the nostril crease. In your particular case, it seems warranted and would make the nose smaller. Dr. G

Edward J. Gross, MD
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Nostril Reduction in African-American Lady

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You can narrow your nostrils without changing the rest of your nose, but the question is whether you should. I personally think you can reduce your nostrils and maintain normal nasal proportions.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
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Nostril Reduction With Or Without Rhinoplasty

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Nostril narrowing or reduction is part of many African-American rhinoplasties. Whether the nose will look good with nostril reduction alone is an issue to consider. While the rest of the nose will not change, nostril reduction may make the tip of the nose look bigger. That could be determined by doing some computer imaging and seeing what the prediction is with nostril reduction alone or as part of a rhinoplasty procedure. 

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
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African American Smaller Nostrils?

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There are several ways to make the nostrils smaller but if you do not reshape the rest of the nose, you will end up with a more bulbous tip. The overall result will not be ideal. The nasal components have to be proportional and correcting one component will affect others. See before and after results below.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
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Yes, but...

+1

All nasal beauty depends on optimal proportion.  If your nostrils are reduced, your tip may look wider (fatter).  That is what you must consider.  Try pinching in your nostrils from the side and you will see what I mean.  Often in African American noses, the nostril width must be left alone, or only reduced minimally, in order not to upset a nice balance, like the one you have now. 

So the answer is yes, but be cautious.

Mark B. Constantian, MD, FACS
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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.