Improve a Short Nose with Wide Nostrils? (photo)

Hi, I'm a male & 20 years old. I'm seeking opinions to improve my nose’s appearance from the front. When my entire face is viewed, the nose looks very short & stubby + is also a little bulbous at the tip. What I believe would suit me best, is if it were a bit longer and slimmer with less wide/flared nostrils. Is this realistic? What would you suggest to achieve this if possible? Alar base + tip plasty? Any details or help with your opinions will be greatly appreciated

Doctor Answers 7

Improve a Short Nose with Wide Nostrils?

Dear Greg,

It is hard to answer this question without seeing the rest of the face to be able to give a good opinion.  Certainly all the items you mentioned are realistic changes in a rhinoplasty, however, I do not think wedge excision of the alar base is good for your.  I do not think your nostrils are overly flared and excision in this area leaves the risk of scars at the base of the nose. 

Best wishes,

Pablo Prichard, MD

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Is nasal surgery a good idea for subtle improvements?

When a nose already appears relatively attractive (and assuming breathing is good), what are the benefits of rhinoplasty?  In some cases, there are indeed subtle improvements that can be made surgically, preserving the good, and focusing on the less-than-good features, like a slightly bulbous tip or small dorsal hump. We call this "refinement rhinoplasty".  Results can be gratifying.    However, sometimes these small imperfections appear magnified in the eyes of that person, and they perceive a nose to be unattractive when it is really not! This is more of a psychological issue than a physical one....

Bottom line: seek the opinion of a qualified & experienced nasal surgeon, to help insure that you  are not over-reacting to the shape and size of a pretty "normal" nose!    

Donn R. Chatham, MD
Louisville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Improve a Short Nose with Wide Nostrils?

               It is a bit difficult to recommend any particular plan with the photos presented.  I think that the improvement that will be generated will be subtle.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of rhinoplasties and rhinoplasty revisions 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
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Improve a Short Nose with Wide Nostrils?

 I suggest that you have several in person consultations with experienced Rhinoplasty Surgeons that can assist you in making the correct aesthetic decisions.  The isolated and limited photos provided do not provide enough information.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews


Rhinoplasty surgery is planned in accordance with the dimensions of adjacent facial features. Therefore isolated photos in the absence of a pinched tip or dorsal hump are of little help in assessing the current condition beyond the dome of the ip. It is impossible then to say what would suit you best. I suspect the nostrils and nostril base are not too wide.

The more information you put in your post (including photo quality) the more complete your received answer can be in a forum like this.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship in order to know if this assessment is valid.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Nasal lengthening of the short nose.

The nose can be lengthened if needed with septal cartilage but your width is fine. Your frontal view looks like the length is fine so I need to see more photos.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Augmentation rhinoplasty

I perform a lot of augmentation rhinoplasty and lengthening the nose and augmenting the dorsum can be done with cartilage from your septum or your ear.  I doubt rib cartilage would be required.  In any case, get a number of consultations with Facial Plastic Surgeons.  

BTW, you might skip the alar base changes for now.  You may find that looks less "stubby" or broad after you've performed the other augmentation maneuvers. 

Chase Lay, MD

Chase Lay, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 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.