Nostrils Are Too Wide, Tip Too Flat, How Can It Be Fixed? (photo)

My nostrils are too wide, especially when I smile. I also don't like the shape of them, as I feel they're too "round". I also think my nostrils are slightly crooked. One sits up just a tiny bit higher than the other one. The tip of my nose is too flat and looks even more so when I smile. What can be done to correct this?

Doctor Answers (11)

African american rhinoplasty

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Modifications of your alart base are possible. It is best to be seen in person to get a better appreciation of your issues.


Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Yes it can be fixed!

+1

Hello Blondie B.,

Thanks for your question.  Your questions and concerns are very common for African Americans seeking rhinoplasty.  It is possible to reduce the size of and change the shape of your nostrils, while at the same time improving the shape and projection of your nasal tip.  Changes when one smiles in the nasal tip can be overpronounced, so this concern of yours is valid.  This too can be blunted to reduce it's effect.  Procedures such as alarplasty (nostril reduction) and tip reduction/grafting with columellar strut graft placement can improve and balance the features of your nose.  Asymmetric nostrils are more difficult to fix because they are often the result of other facial asymmetries that are very difficult and expensive to fix.  A question that I ask all of my patients of color seeking rhinoplasty is "is keeping your ethnicity important to you?"  If the answer is "yes" then you must be careful to avoid getting an over-sculpted look (like Michael Jackson.)  If the answer is "no" than aggressiveness is warranted but carries with it greater risk.  Make sure you consult with a specialist in Ethnic rhinoplasty to come up with a reasonable surgical plan.

Good luck,

Dr. Shah

Manish H. Shah, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

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Nostrils are too wide, tip too flat, how can it be fixed?

+1

The width of the nostrils can be reduced with an alar base reduction, or "alarplasty." The nostrils can also be made more symmetric with cartilage grafts. There are also ways to refine the nasal tip, and eliminate a "flat" appearance as you describe. Specifically, the following grafts may help:

1) Alar rim graft: helps prevent pinched nostrils and improve shape of the nostrils
2) Shield graft: used to project and define the nasal tip
3) Columellar strut: used for support and straighten the nasal tip.  It can also be used to increase projection
4) Composite graft: helps improve the appearance of receding nostrils

A detailed exam would be necessary to give you the best advice and determine what you may benefit from. I would recommend an in-person consult with a board certified rhinoplasty surgeon. They will be able to evaluate your nose in person and give you suggestions. I hope this helps, and best of luck.

Jonathan Kulbersh, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Nostrils Are Too Wide, Tip Too Flat, How Can It Be Fixed?

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    The tip can be built up to add projection and make the tip appear more narrow.  In addition, the nostril width can be reduced as well.   Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of rhinoplasties and rhinoplasty revisions each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.

Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
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Wide Nostrils and Flat Nasal Tip

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Your concerns are commonly seen in African American candidates for Rhinoplasty surgery. Typically the nasal tip will be narrowed and supported with small cartilage grafts. The nostrils can be both narrowed and made smaller as appropriate depending upon the patient's goals and the opinion of the surgeon. A natural result should be you goal so as to maintain your ethnicity while simply refining your nasal appearance.  Best of Luck  Dr Harrell

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

Correcting a Wide, Flat Tip

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You cannarrow your tip by changing the contour of the tip cartilages. Frequently these cartilages are very soft in African-American patients and therefore a piece of cartilage taken from the septum and placed in the tip to add strength and maintain shape. The base of your nose should also be narrowed.

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

Nostrils Are Too Wide, Tip Too Flat, How Can It Be Fixed?

+1

Best advise is to seek only IN PERSON examinations for a full discussion concerning your rhinoplasty..///

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

Fixing your wide nostrils

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Alar base reduction can be used to narrow wide nostrils. You can check out my web reference link below to read more about this.

To improve your flat tip an increase in projection would be needed. An added benefit of making your tip less flat is that it would also make your nose look narrower on frontal view.There are several rhinoplasty techniques that can be used to improve your tip projection.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Rhinoplasty to narrow and wide nostrils and increase projection of the tip

+1

 A rhinoplasty procedure involves narrowing the nostrils is also known as an alar-plasty. If the nostrils are asymmetrical, occasionally this can be helped with an asymmetrical alar plasty  skin excision. Flatness of the tip is best addressed with a combination of tip suturing techniques and cartilage grafting to the domes of the lower lateral cartilages of the tip of the nose.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 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.