Can I have a rhinoplasty without changing entire shape of the nose? (Photo)

My nose is bulbous at the tip and my nostrils are a bit wide which is noticed when I smile. However, the overall shape of my nose is not terrible. It's straight on the dorsum but the cartilage at the end is what droops. Is there any way to fix or soften the cartilage at the tip and narrow my nostrils without altaring the entire nose?

Doctor Answers 11

Tip Rhinoplasty

Yes. It is possible to limit a rhinoplasty operation to the lower one-third of the nose (the nasal tip). This procedure is commonly know as a "tip rhinoplasty".

In tip rhinoplasty, the appearance of the nose is refined by modifying the size and shape of the paired tip cartilages that sit at the end of the nose. These cartilages can be partially excised, shaped with suture, or modified with cartilage  taken from the nasal septum or ear. The goal of the procedure is to achieve a natural and elegant tip shape. At the same time, any drooping of the tip can be corrected and the nose supported in its new position. Nostril size can be reduced through carefully placed incisions around the nostril margins. The  final outward appearance of the nasal tip is determined by the shape of the cartilage framework and by the thickness of the overlying nasal skin.

It is important to avoid an "operated" appearance and to preserve support for breathing. Look for an experienced surgeon that understands both nasal "form and function" and shares your aesthetic values.

Saint Louis Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Finesse Rhinoplasty

 If you desire nasal tip rhinoplasty only and your dorsum is fine, it can certainly be done without altering the dorsum or the base of the nose. Rhinoplasty should be done in the hands of Board Certified Plastic Surgeon or Otolaryngologist with expertise in Rhinoplasty.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Can I have a rhinoplasty without changing entire shape of the nose?

You are ultimately the one who would make any final decision about what would be changed with the shape of your nose.  My advice would be to visit a board-certified plastic surgeon with a lot of experience in performing rhinoplasties and listen to the advice given to you so that you make an educated informed decision.  Best of luck!

Fara Movagharnia, DO, FACOS
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Rhinoplasty candidate?

This is a great question and you are a great example of someone who less is more. I would make sure you are up front about what you are looking for. Keep it simple. Address only the issues you do not feel comfortable with about your nose.

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Limited Rhinoplasty to Refine Tip

Over the past 30+ years every rhinoplasty I've done has been individualized to meet the needs and goals of every patient. You can limit the work to just the tip and nasal base but you do want to make sure that you achieve a natural result and all parts of your nose are proportional after surgery.

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

Can I have a rhinoplasty without changing entire shape of the nose?

   Rhinoplasty can be tailored to meet your individual goals.   There is not a standard rhinoplasty.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Can I have a rhinoplasty without changing entire shape of the nose?

Yes, that is absolutely possible.  You can have a tipplasty to reduce and refine the tip of your nose.  During the consultation, you can discuss with your surgeon your wishes.  As long as the rest of the nose fits naturally with a refined tip, it should not be a problem is performed by a surgeon with a lot of rhinoplasty experience!

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Rhinoplasty for bulbous tip

It is possible to perform a tip rhinoplasty, but the remainder of the nose must be in balance. This is not possible when there is a dorsal hump present which will make the entire nose un-balanced when performing only a tip rhinoplasty. Computer imaging would also help at the time of consultation to understand what can and cannot be accomplished. The  far majority of patients must undergo a full rhinoplasty to make sure that the components of the nose balance with each other, and the new nose balances with your facial features

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Tip rhinoplasty alone

It is possible to make changes to your tip without altering other aspects of your nose that you like. The changes that will be proposed by the surgeon you choose should really depend on your aesthetic goals, your anatomy, your facial features, and other factors that may influence your outcome. It's important to have an open-minded discussion with your prospective nasal surgeon to make sure you are both on the same page. You may come away from that consultation with a renewed desire to make the changes you want or, you might be surprised as you consider other possible changes that would enhance the overall balance of your nose. A detailed discussion is critical because changes to your tip can alter the balance and appearance of the rest of your nose in proportion to your new tip. A consultation with an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon who can do computer imaging to give you an honest sense of what surgery can accomplish should help you to clarify the degree of change that will make you most comfortable. 

All the best,
Jason Litner, MD

Jason Litner, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Can I have a rhinoplasty without changing entire shape of the nose?

Improving the nostril width and refining a bulbous tip are frequent requests of patients wanting nasal refinement. It is possible to improve the cosmetic appearance of the tip alone without altering the rest of the nose in some patients. Whether the optimal option in your particular situation would be a tip rhinoplasty alone or a full rhinoplasty would best be determined at a consultation. Either procedure can be performed with a closed or open approach.

Following the advice from a surgeon on this or any other website who proposes to tell you exactly what to do based on limited 2 dimensional photos without examining you, physically feeling the tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history, and discussing the pros and cons of the operative procedure would not be in your best interest. I would suggest you find a plastic surgeon with extensive nasal surgery experience who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) or a facial plastic surgeon (ENT) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla,California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 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.