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Can you perform successful rhinoplasty on a nose tip with no bone in it?

My nose tip is very squishy. There's hardly any bone in it, and I can press it quite far before I reach the bone. I can also pinch it and drag it around all over the place. I was told (by a doctor which didn't really do anything but confuse me more) that this was difficult to do anything about, as my nose doesn't really have a shape. But he also said that it could be done. He said something about using bone from the ear (?) to build on the bone in the nose. Is this possible, and could that solve this problem? I would also like to point out that I have thick skin, which is another problem. Does this mean I'm not suitable for rhinoplasty?

Doctor Answers (8)

Rhinoplasty surgery for cartilage and bone

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 The rhinoplasty procedure involves sculpting and shaping the nasal bones, upper lateral cartilages, and the lower lateral cartilages. The lower lateral cartilages are what  make up the tip of the nose. Thick skin does limit what can be accomplished during a rhinoplasty. Sometimes ear cartilage is also necessary for grafting purposes in the nose, but only once the cartilage from the nose has been depleted. Please see our rhinoplasty photo  gallery below for examples of what can be accomplished with rhinoplasty in our practice.


Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Nasal Tip Cartilage Grafting

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The nasal tip has no bone, only soft cartilages. Your rhinoplasty needs cartilage support to the tip which can come from your septum. There is no reason you can not have a successful rhinoplasty if your expectations are realistic.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Nasal tip and bone?

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There is no bone in the nasal tip. It is made of cartilage and pushing down on it may run into the septum which is cartilage.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

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Cartilage grafting of the nasal tip combined with rhinoplasty.

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The tip of the nose can be crafted with cartilage from your septum which is normally present in abundance. If there is not enough one can go to the ear. There is no bone in the nasal tip. See a very experienced surgeon and you should be able to obtain good results from a rhinoplasty.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Nasal Tip Surgery

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Surgery can be performed on the nasal tip.  Many patients request for the tip to be better refined or augmented.  A thorough evaluation is recommended with consultation so that it is clearer what you are looking to do and how to best achieve this.  Computer imaging will be helpful so that you can visualize the possible results.  Please consult with a board certified specialist who can help you achieve the results you seek.

Kimberly Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Can you perform successful rhinoplasty on a nose tip with no bone in it?

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         Poor tip support can be improved as well as tip definition using septal or ear cartilage in most cases.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of rhinoplasties 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 191 reviews

Rhinoplasty Questions

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Without an exam it is impossible to determine the type of graft you may need.  Sometimes cartilage is taken from the ear, or bone from a rib.  Consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to discuss your concerns and expectations.   Be sure to schedule with someone that does a lot of Rhinoplasty procedures, as this can be complicated.  Best wishes!

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Rhinoplasty On a Soft Nose

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Let's talk a little about the anatomy of your nose.  The nasal bones are only in the upper part and go less than half of the way to the lower part.  All of the lower part of your nose is made up of cartilage.  Everyone has a different consistency to their cartilage and yours may be a bit softer with less 'springiness'.

The important question to ask is if you are happy with the shape of you nose.  If you don't have any issues with the shape, then I would not worry about the consistency.  Chalk it up to something that makes you unique.

If you want to change the shape of your nose, then it will likely be necessary to do cartilage grafts.  These usually come from inside the nose but can also be harvested from part of the ear.  In rare cases the cartilage can even be harvested from rib.

To answer you question - yes you would be suitable for a rhinoplasty.  Find a plastic surgeon you like and go for a consultation.  Best of luck to you.

Al Rosenthal, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 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.