Possible to Narrow a Nasal Bone Without Fracturing the Bones?

I want a much narrower nose. I hate my wide nasal bone. A doctor told me that when he does Rhinoplasty, he does not break the nasal bone but just shaves it and that I would heal better. I always thought to have a narrow nose, an osteotomy and fracture of the nasal bone was required. Can you share your expertise on this matter? Thank you in advance for the answers you will provide me with.

Doctor Answers 15

Rhinoplasty to narrow nasal bridge requires osteotomies 90% of the time

If the upper and middle third of the nose is too wide, it definitely needs to be narrowed through osteotomies and breaking the nasal bones. About 90% of the time when a rhinoplasty is performed to narrow the bridge, osteotomies are performed. With a few cases it is possible not to perform the nasal osteotomies.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Nasal bones cannot be narrowed without fracturing the bones

It is not possible to narrow the nasal bones without fracturing them. Fracturing the nasal bones is medically defined as osteotomies. Osteotomies are routinely performed in the vast majority of rhinoplasties. Whereas the term “fracturing” is frightening, the actual procedure is painless with the use of appropriate anesthesia and rarely provides more than minimal discomfort in the postoperative. This has been my experience in most nasal surgical cases.

Sigmund L. Sattenspiel, MD
Freehold Facial Plastic Surgeon

Fracturing Nasal Bones

It is necessary to fracture the nasal bones to narrow those bones. Sometimes it is appropriate to just shave a small hump, but that will not narrow the nose. Get other opinions from experienced surgeons. Do what is best to achieve the best possible result which will last the rest of your life.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Narrowing the nose

I concur with many of the comments made thus far. Performing osteotomies (breaking the nasal bones and resetting the bones) is the best way to achieve a natural narrowing to the nasal bridge. Augmentation of the nasal bridge is useful in situations when the nasal bridge is both lacking definition and height. The photograph shown does not reveal enough to make specific comment on the question posed.

Guy Lin, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon

You may may narrow your nose with Rhinoplasty surgery.

In general, you're right: osteotomies are required to narrow the upper 2/3 of your nose.

If the width of your upper nose is all that bothers you, an Injectable Filler treatment can be performed to narrow the appearance by placing a narrow collumn of Filler along your bridge. If your bridge is too high, then this approach would not be feasible.

I hope this is helpful for you.

I've attached a link to my Rhinoplasty photos for your perusal.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 418 reviews

Nasal improvement without breaking

I can not see your profile from the submitted photo, but if your nose is wide and also close to your face, it can be made to look narrower by building up the bridge of the nose. This is commonly done in blacks, Asians and some Hispanics.....and yields a very nice result without moving the bones.

If indeed the surgeon elects to move the side bones, we usually bend them like a "green stick" on a live tree branch. You can bend a branch, and it will stay without "breaking" the branch. My preferred term would be to carefully re-position the bones (if necessary). The term "breaking" does not imply the level of sophistication and the meticulous work of a plastic surgeon.

I would not hesitate to have the bone repositioned if it will improve your result. BTW if you are unsure of what I have suggested about elevating the bridge of the nose to make it look narrower, you can inject sterile water to the bridge which would simulate the look and you would immediately see the difference. It will only last 10 minutes, but is often better than computer imaging. Ask your surgeon about this option.

Darrick E. Antell, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews


Hi Rita,

The only way to narrow the nasal bridge is perform an osteotomy. Shaving the bridge may only make your bridge wider. So I don't think you'll get the result your looking for by just shaving the bridge.

The bridge can also be narrowed by inserting a implant. Just like a tall mountain looks narrow from above and short mountain may look narrow.

Good Luck,

Dr. S.

Oleh Slupchynskyj, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 272 reviews

Rhinoplasty and Narrowing the Nose...Tap-Tap

Hi Rita-Marie,

The only way to narrow the upper third of your nose is to perform osteotomies during your rhinoplasty.  Since you really desire to have a narrower nose, plan on "cutting the bones", tap-tap.

Good luck and be well.  Choose your rhinoplasty surgeon most carefully.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Nasal fracture is a key part of rhinoplasty to narrow the nose

Patients considering rhinoplasty often ask whether or not it i necessary to break the nose to change the nasal shape. Occasionally this step is not necessary, but most often it is an important part narrow the nose and shape the dorsum. As surgeons we call the line which curves from the brow to the tip of the nose the dorsal aesthetic line, and a gentle sweep to the curve will help the nose look its best. The nasal fracture called an 'osteotomy' is performed with a soft green-stick inward fracture of the nasal bone, and can be shaped and bent into shape or curve that is needed. I often will mark the break with a row of perforations in the bone much like perforations in paper to mark where the bend or break is to occur. I cannot see your whole nose in the picture but I would tend to favor the fracture to close the flat area, and increased width as the 'hump' is reduced.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Narrowing the bone in rhinoplasty

It is difficult to narrow the nose along the dorsum without performing nasal fractures along the sidewalls. These are referred to as osteotomies and I do not know of any other reliable approach to significant nasal dorsal narrowing other than osteotomies. Rasping, or shaving, could be used in very incremental narrowing, but, based on your comments this would unlikely satisfy your desires.

Philip S. Schoenfeld, MD, FACS
Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 29 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.