Can Cutting of the Depressor Septi Nasi Muscle Be Done Without Full Rhinoplasty? (photo)

Hi! I have a drooping tip when I smile and it bothers me. If I get the wrong angle in photos it can make me look like a different person & it seems to have gotten worse over the years. Bizarrely, the right side seems to dip more than the left (or so I've noticed in photographs) I don't have many photos to highlight the problem, I'll try to get some better quality ones up. I like my nose, just not when I smile! Do you think this snip could be an option? What would you recommend for me? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 7

Releasing the depressor septi ligament

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Releasing the depressor septi can be done as  a stand alone procedure.  It will not change the shape of the tip, but simply de-animate the tip.  When fully released the tip will no longer droop when smiling.  A very small incision is made at the base of the columella and could be done under local anesthesia

Fixing the droopy nasal tip--try Botox!!

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The depressor septi nasi muscle does indeed pull down the tip of the nose. It may be released during rhinoplasty surgery or as an isolated procedure. However, you will need to consult with a surgeon to see if that is truly what you need, as there may be other contributing factors to the drooping of your tip. You may want to try having a couple units of Botox injected into the muscle (at the base of the columella) which will release the downward pull and lift the tip. If it were me, I might consider trying this first before undergoing surgery.

Depressor Release for Nasal Tip Animation Deformity

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Given that you are happy with your nose when you not smiling, it makes sense to just treat it as a tip animation issue and just release the muscle. It can be released without the need for a traditional rhinoplasty approach by a small incision inside the nose or from inside the mouth.

Can Cutting of the Depressor Septi Nasi Muscle Be Done Without Full Rhinoplasty?

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Thanks for the great posted photos. The easy option is just the "snipe" as you describe. But truly you might be better off with tip rhinoplasty or even a conservative full one. Seek in person evaluations from boarded PSs in your city. 

Droopy Nasal Tip

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If you are otherwise happy with your nose except for the fact that it is ptotic (droopy) when you smile or talk, this can be addressed by releasing the depressor septi nasi muscle without having to perform a full rhinoplasty.  An incision could be made on the inside so that no external scars would be visible.  Please consult with a board certified specialist who can assist you in achieving the results you seek.

Kimberly Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Depressor Septi Release without Full Rhinoplasty

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   The depressor septi can be completely released from about a hidden 1 cm incision inside the nose without performing a complete rhinoplasty.  If you are completely happy with the rest of your nose, this procedure could be done in less than 5 minutes.  You should have little bruising or swelling, and you would notice the difference right away. Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Cutting the Depressor Septi Nasi Muscle

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The muscle can be cut as an isolated procedure under local anesthesia.without doing a complete rhinoplasty to decrease the tip droop during facial animation. It is a simple procedure with minimal post op recovery.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 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.