Is It Possible to Change the Position of the Nostrils?

The bridge of my nose is pretty straight, but the tip is a tiny bit twisted to one side, boxy-looking and pointed down farther than I would like. However, I fear that if I had the tip rounded and slightly raised, my nose might look too small, and there would be too much space between my upper lip and my nostrils.

Is there a way that the nostrils could be slightly lowered, so that the tip could have a slightly raised appearance without looking "pig-nosed" and without making my nose look too small for my face?

Is it weird to want to change the distance between the nostrils and the upper lip? Is it possible?

Doctor Answers 8

Nose surgery cannot lower your nostrils

The short answer to your question is no, it is not possible to lower the nostrils. However, you may want to go to a Plastic Surgeon who does computer imaging and see how you would look like if your nasal tip was slightly elevated and narrowed.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

The tip can be raised slightly without creating a pig nose.

When the tip of the nose is long over the lip, it can be raised. How much will depend on how much upper lip length you have already and how much the tip is raised. If the upper lip is already "too long" then the surgeon should be conservative in raising the tip.
"Lowering the nostrils" is difficult and leaves a scar, so you will be trading something natural (long upper lip) for something unnatural (scar) and this is usually a "bad trade".

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

Rhinoplasty and the Nostrils

Hi FF,

It is very difficult to answer you question despite your detailed description of your nose and your wishes. It would be most helpful to see pictures of your nose in the following views: frontal, profile, 3/4's, and from below the nostrils.

Nostril size and position can be changed, but your nose needs to be examined by an experienced rhinoplastic surgeon who could then tell you what to expect, and most importantly whether your expectations and goals could be reasonably met.

Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

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

Changing the Tip of The Nose

Based upon your photograph, it seems your request is reasonable. It certainly is possible to make the tip less boxy and reduce the nose to be more proportionate to your face, without creating a "pig-like" appearance with excessive show of the nostrils.

Of course, a full examination during consultation is needed to be sure.  See a well qualified Rhinoplasty surgeon for consultation.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Move nostril position versus upper lip lift

If the goal is to achieve a shorter upper lip, then there is a special procedure that accomplishes this- called the upper lip lift. However, there are techniques to move the position of the nostrils, but it may not be the best way to achieve the look you are seeking.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 132 reviews

Changing the nostrils and the tip in rhinoplasty

You pose a good question, but one that can't be answered properly without seeing you in person.  Yes the position and the size of the nostrils can change relative to other structures.   The issue with you seems to be that you'd rather lower your nostrils rather than raise the tip b/c you're afraid your nose will be too turned up.

My advice to you would be to visit with us to discuss your concerns.  From the picture it seems as if your nasal length is fine and you may not even need surgery.  Sometimes computer imaging can help in the discussion.  I'm always wary when a patient tells me they want some changes but "are afraid of..."

Ramtin Kassir, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 146 reviews

Many techniques exist to help one achieve a more pleasing aesthetic result

Many techniques exist to help one achieve a more pleasing aesthetic result.  This includes changing or altering the appearance of the tip and nostrils.  It is best for you to seek a consultation with a rhinoplasty surgeon and have him or her give you their opinion as to what can be achieved with your nose.

Sanjay Grover, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 224 reviews

It is possible to change the relationship between your nostrils and tip

Rhinoplasty is a popular and effective surgery to recontour the shape of your nose. During the surgery, there are many techniques that a surgeon can perform to alter the different parts of your nose. It is possible to change the shape of your tip and nostril to create the effect that you are looking for.

Your best bet is to work with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has a great deal of experience with rhinoplasty and cartilage techniques as you may need a small cartilage graft to help retain the new shape.

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 108 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.