Is it possible to narrow a Bulbous Nose without adding any cartilage or anything additional?

I have a bulbous nose and want to narrow it. But it is mostly the middle part of the nose. I don't want to do anything to the bridge and best if the tip is also left alone and just slim down the middle section to make it look longer and more narrow. Is that possible?

Doctor Answers 12

Bulbous nose

Most often a bulbous nose is narrowed by removing and suturing the cartilage under the tip together.  In most cases a cartilage graft is unnecessary.  In terms of only operating on one part of your nose, that can lead to dis- proportion.  You just need to get a few opinions. 

La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Narrowing the nose

The nose can be narrowed, whether it is the middle section or tip.  However, the limiting factor is to ensure you can breathe afterwards.  Please consult with a board certified specialist who can help you achieve the results you seek.  3-dimensional computer imaging can also help you visualize what you may look like afterwards and serve as an important communication tool with your surgeon.

Kimberly Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Rhinoplasty Without Cartilage Grafts

Many rhinoplasty procedures are done without the use of cartilage or tissue grafts but it is impossible to answer your   re what is best for you. I need to examine your nose to see pictures to discuss your options. 

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

Rhinoplasty Question


Without and examination or at least a photograph, it would be difficult to say what can or can't be done. Go visit a few surgeons and have digital imaging performed so that you know how you can possibly look. 

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Wide Nose

Often, a wide middle 1/3 of the nose is due to wide nasal bones, so the nasal bones in the upper 1/3 of the nose may need modification to get the narrowing.    The tip can be left alone.

Hope this helps

Raj P. TerKonda, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon

Narrow a nose without adding cartilage

Dear Lalalouo,

  • It is best to come in for an exam to see what bothers you and what can be done about it
  • The tip can be left alone and you can narrow the middle third of the nose alone
  • You just want to make sure the rest of the nose stays proportional 
  • When you are ready, please see a rhinoplasty specialist who can address your concerns


Dr. Nima

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Open rhinoplasty for nasal tip improvement

An open or closed rhinoplasty with tip modification will improve the shape and definition of your nasal tip. The rest of your nose would harmonize well with improved tip features, as discussed.

Is it possible to narrow a Bulbous Nose without adding any cartilage or anything additional?

The bony bridge and middle vault of the nose (what I believe you are describing as being wide) are in continuity and narrowing the middle vault probably would need some work to be done on the bony vault.  You will need to discuss your goals and ideas with a board-certified plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon to get the most useful answer.  It is rare that you can change one portion of the nose without needing to do something to keep balance in the remaining portion.  Best wishes,

Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
ABC-TV Extreme Makeover Surgeon
Beverly Hills, California

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Rhinoplasty for the bulbous tip?

A rhinoplasty can narrow your bulbous tip without adding any cartilage. This is done with removal of excess cartilage and suture techniques as well. The nasal bones may need to be narrowed to be in balance with the new tip. See a very experienced rhinoplasty surgeon for the best results. 

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews


Hello and thank you for your question.  Your surgeon can accomplish this by trimming, suturing, and reshaping the cartilage in your lower nose and possibly osteotomies depending on your individual nasal anatomy.   Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and not just a computer animation system. 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 67 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.