Removal of Hanging Columella During Rhinoplasty Result in Wider Nose?

I was wondering if the removal of a hanging columella would make a nose appear wider or the nostrils flare more? It seems to me that removing the pressure or pull of the hanging cartilage would let the nostrils bounce up and out, thus widening, since when it was hanging it would be pulling and narrowing the nostrils. I hope that makes sense. thank you.

Doctor Answers (12)

Nostril width after hanging columella removal depends on amount removed

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The normal removal of a hanging columella will not make the nose appear wider. If greater than 5 mm of hanging columella is removed it could make the nostrils slightly flare and wider. This is a very common procedure that is done at the time of a rhinoplasty. One of the tell tale signs of having had a rhinoplasty surgery is when there is too much columellar show (hanging columella).


Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

The simple answer is no

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Without seeing a photograph of your nose I can only speculate. However, in general, if your surgery is done by an experienced and skilled rhinoplasty specialist, your nose should not appear wider or flared. If anything, a good correction of a hanging columella should result in a more refined appearance to your nose.

Now, it is possible, if your surgeon doesn't understand the forces and vectors involved, to make a nose look blunter or wider during the correction of a hanging columella. There are so many variables that factor into a good result in rhinoplasty. I like creating a pocket between the medial crus and setting them back on the septum or an extension graft to set  the columellar position where I want it. At the same time projecting and rotating the nose (if needed) to improve the appearance.  I hope this helps. 

Ivan Wayne, MD
Oklahoma City Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Nasal width after collumelar changes

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The optical allusions that may change after rhinoplasty are very real. However, the reduction for the collumlla should not physically of optically cahnge the base width for the nose. Initial swelling and bruising may give that apperance, but when healing is complete the width should be the same as pre operativly.

Rodger Wade Pielet, MD (in memoriam)
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Effect of Removal of a Hanging Columella on Nasal Width

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If your surgery is done by an experienced surgeon, correction of a hanging columella will not cause increased width of your tip. Proper technique selection will give you the desired, proportional result.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Nostrils will not be wider after removal of a hanging columella.

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Your nose will look better after removal of the hanging columella, but won't be wider. The surgeon knows how to do this if he is good. 

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Hanging columella and nasal width

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Correcting a hanging columella should have little to no impact on the width of the nose. This can be corrected with suturing techniques possibly combined with excisional techniques.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

There is always some degree of change to nasal features

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As with any modification of a nasal feature there is always some degree of change to other features of the nose. An experienced Rhinoplasty surgeon will be able to show you the changes that you can expect depending on the particular cause of the hanging Columella. This feature is very important to identify pre-operatively as correction of a hanging columella can significantly improve the aesthetics of the nasal tip. This can often be the difference between a modest improvement and a great cosmetic result.

All the best.

Thomas Buonassisi, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Removal of hanging columella during rhinoplasty result in wider nose

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The simple answer is yes. But it is an optical illusion that occurs went the angles of light hitting facial structure changes by removing the hanging colummella.

Regards from MIAMI Dr. B

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Rhinoplasty is a dynamic procedure with many interactive parts

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Every maneuver in rhinoplasty has numerous consequences. An experienced rhinoplasty surgeon understands each of these techniques and the effects on other parts of the nose. Your inquiry about a hanging columella really depends on the cause. A hanging columella has at least 4 causes, each with a different treatment. Any changes elsewhere in the nose should be anticipated and either used for your advantage or compensated for. For example, reducing the tip cartilage can affect width, the angle of the tip as well as projection. Each can be used to get a balanced result.

Steven J. Pearlman, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

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.