How many millimeters can medial and lateral osteotomies slim the nose?

Doctor Answers 5

How many millimeters can medial and lateral osteotomies slim the nose?

Osteotomies usually slim the nose by 2-5 mm on each side, but it really depends on the thickness of the skin, bone and muscle of the nose in that area. The pre-existing anatomy  is important to take into account about how much narrowing will occur with the rhinoplasty procedure. For many before-and-after examples of narrowing a wide nose, please see the link and the video below 

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 146 reviews


Osteotomies can be used to narrow or widen nasal bones. They can move in a few millimeters on each side which can be quite a significant change in many patients.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews


Osteotomies are very versatile and as long they are done properly can narrow the nose significantly and sometimes too much. On noses that are very wide it might be necessary to remove a wedge of bone between the nasal bones and the septum to allow inward movement of the nasal bone and sufficient narrowing of the nose.

Bahman Guyuron, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Nasal evaluation

Hello and thank you for your question.  The best advice you can receive is from an in-person consultation.  The answer truly depends on how wide your mid nasal vault is pre-operatively.   Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results.   The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 131 reviews

How many millimeters can medial and lateral osteotomies slim the nose?

There is no absolute amount the nose can change through osteotomies. Rarely have I encountered a case where the nose cannot get narrow enough. The more realistic issue is whether an overly narrow nose looks or breathes well. It is usually these last 2 parameters that keep us from trying to narrow a nose as much as physically possible. 

Jeffrey Watson, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.