I Have A Wide, Flat Nose. Can It Be Changed? (photo)

I have been very unhappy with my nose for several years now and have wanted rhinoplasty for about a year and a half. I don't want just a thinner nose, I want it to be completely different. Thinner and instead of being flat I would like it to have a point to it. With that being said, because my nose is so wide and big, is it going to be harder and more dangerous for me to get rhinoplasty? Will the recovery process take longer?

Doctor Answers (14)

Ethnic Rhinoplasty.


Your photos are very helpful.  Your analysis is accurate and I agree that your nose calls undue attention to itself and away from the rest of your beautiful facial features.  The changes you are asking for fall into the realm of ethinic rhinoplasty and reshaping is definitely possible . 

In general, African, Asian and Hispanic noses will have the following features when compared to a Caucasian nose:

  • Increased width across the middle vault and nasal base.
  • Decreased projection of the dorsum as well as the tip of the nose.
  • Increased nostril flaring.

In most cases the ethnic nose is proportional to and 'fits' the rest of the face.  However, if reshaping is desired then ethnic rhinoplasty usually involves one or more maouevers:

  • Dorsal augmentation grafting.  My preference is to use one's own tissues (autologous grafts) such as ear cartilage or rib grafts.  The technique I have gravitated to uses diced cartilage packed into a temporalis fascia cylinder.  This technique is excellent in that it is very well accepted when compared to synthetic implants and avoids the major pitfalls of solid cartilage grafts such as warping or graft edge visibility.
  • Increased tip projection and definition. This can be accomplished using a combination of one or more of the following:  tip grafts, selective tip cartilage excsion and suture techniques.
  • Alar base narrowing and nostril modification.  The width across the nostrils as well as nostril flare can be reduced using excision techniques.

I wish you the best of luck.

Mario J. Imola, MD, DDS, FRCSC.


Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Thinner nose



In order to change your nose and give it more definition you will need to have some grafting done. I only use cartilage grafts and will often use rib cartilage in cosmetic cases where a lot of tissue is needed to achieve the desired results. Your nasal dorsum will have to be augmented, your tip defined with a tip graft and your alar base would have to be narrowed. Get a couple of opinions at least form experienced rhinoplasty surgeons in your area. Good luck!

Andres Gantous, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Improving a Wide, Flat Nose


Your nose can be significantly improved with rhinoplasty surgery. The nasal bridge,tip, and nasal base can all be narrowed. I cannot tell from the pictures submitted but frequently is necessary to graft the bridge and tip to improve definition. Select a surgeon who is experienced in African American rhinoplasty.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

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Correction of wide, flat nose.


The only 'danger' you really face in having a surgery on your nose is in not choosing someone who has experience with nasal anatomy such as yours. Typically a nose like yours will require more surgical steps to enhance its appearance. Cartilage from the nose or ears, or perhaps an implant for the bridge of your nose will most likely be necessary to give you the look you want. That said, you should be able to find someone who can go very far towards creating more of the appearance you would like. Best of Luck  Dr Harrell

Jon F. Harrell, DO
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Rhinoplasty for the ethnic nose.


Your nose can be narrower along with the base and the tip refined and narrowed to give you what u want. This is. A common nose for those of us who have done this for 35 years. Choose a surgeon who does natural A-A noses.

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

I Have A Wide, Flat Nose. Can It Be Changed? (photo)


Thanks for the different views of your nose. Best to be seen in person by a boarded PS in your area. But Yes you can achieve an improvement by having rhinoplasty surgery. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 64 reviews



Improving the nasal bridgemost likely with grafts will make it appear narrower. Performing grafting to the tip and refining the cartilages may help, but remember if the overlying soft tissue is thick, it may amke it difficult to get as much definition as you would like.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Rhinoplasty for Wide/Flat Nose

For sure your nose could achieve a rather significant improvement in terms of being more refined with a defined tip.  The key - establishing a strong columella/tip, after which the rest of the nose will fall into place.  Likely this requires using septal cartilage for a columellar strut, and other challenging techniques.  Do your homework and make sure you see plenty of before and after photos of cases like yours. 

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Ethnic (African American) Rhinoplasty


Yes, you can achieve significant improvement with narrowing of the dorsum (bridge), tip and base of the nose with the correct procedures. Thi includes tip reshaping and rotation and increased projection in most cases, along with dosal augmentation and alar base narrowing in correct proportion to the other maneuvers. You can achieve a more natural look.Cartilage grafting will be needed, so discuss this with a surgeon who has experience with this procedure, and is well trained and board certified.

Harrison C. Putman III, MD
Peoria Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Achieving a natural appearance after rhinoplasty

It is common for patients to have 1 or 2 things that really bother them about their nose. A few of the most common concerns that prompt black patients to seek rhinoplasty include the flat bridge and the width of the lower nose including flaring of the nostrils. Additionally, a flat, large, ill-defined tip may also accompany these other features. Increasing the height of the dorsum will help to balance the profile but also improve definition of the bridge from the front view. This along with improving tip definition and projection can help to make the nose appear less flat and give the nose more definition. Typically, alar base surgery is also required to decrease the flaring or an excessively rounded appearance of the nostrils as well as their size. Although it is possible to make the nose look significantly better with rhinoplasty, it is important that the resulting changes still appear in balance with the other facial features and remain ethnically congruent to avoid an unnatural result and stigmatizing result.
The goal of rhinoplasty surgery should be to create a nose that is best suited to your face both in proportion and shape so that you achieve the most natural looking result. Finally, rhinoplasty in the black patient is no riskier than any other ethnicity.

Jamil Ahmad, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 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.