Is an undetectable bulbous tip nosejob / rhinoplasty possible? I'd love a smaller nose, but not if strangers could tell. (Photo)

Zac Effron, Jessica Biel and countless others with bulbous nose and unlimited budget now have faces that scream ‘nosejob’ from a mile away. It always looks the same. Big wide runway going from bridge to the now-drooping columella, with still-bulbous tip and now-small alar sills sharply dropping in, giving it an elephant-trunk appearance and making the tip stand out even more than before. I’d love to, love to have a smaller nose, but not if strangers could tell I had it done. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 13


If a rhinoplasty looks natural, then often people will not be able to tell you had surgery.  Unfortunately, the greatest risk of rhinoplasty a that you end up with a result that you don't like or that needs to be revised. If that risk is not worth it in your mind, then maybe rhinoplasty is not right for you.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Natural Rhinoplasty

Seek an expert in the field of rhinoplasty and have digital imaging performed during your consultation. This will allow you to see the proposed changes rhinoplasty surgery would provide and see if you feel they are what you have in mind for a natural looking appearance. In rhinoplasty surgery the end desired result is a natural looking nose that you appear you were born with not purchased as well as a properly functioning nose. Best regards, Michael V.Elam, M.D.

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 202 reviews

Is an undetectable bulbous tip nosejob / rhinoplasty possible? I'd love a smaller nose, but not if strangers could tell. (Photo)

The current philosophy in nasal surgery, with most plastic surgeons, is to create a nose that will result in more attractive features but without anyone being able to tell.  As a matter of fact the best compliment I get from my patients is when they tell me everyone tells them they are more beautiful but no one can tell it is because they had a rhinoplasty.  That being said, judging from your photos, you have a satisfactory male nose which if you came to my office I would probably turn you down.  To be concerned about what you call a bulbous tip in a male, is in my book a "red flag".  Sorry for my bluntness, but I am just giving you my honest opinion.  By the way, stay away from any surgeon who would offer computer pre-imaging in a case such as yours.  To provide computer pre-imaging for the tip in a thick-skin male nose like yours is ridiculous.

Ruben B. Abrams, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Rhinoplasty candidate for bulbous tip reduction

The bulbous tip  can be refined with a conservative cartilage removal for mild cases, or suture techniques applied to the lower lateral cartilages  when there is very wide cartilages present. A prominent columella can also be trimmed back with a columellar plasty. Wide nostrils are reduced with an alar plasty. For many examples and more information, please see the link below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 133 reviews

Minor tip refinement of the nose

A minor refinement of the nose is always possible with a tip rhinoplasty.  Computer imaging would be very beneficial for determing if you would get the result you desire.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Is an undetectable bulbous tip nosejob / rhinoplasty possible? I'd love a smaller nose, but not if strangers could tell.

You can have a more refined nose that is natural in appearance.  I perform these surgeries with closed technique to preserve the structure of the nose and minimize visible scarring.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Subtle rhinoplasty

Dear 12345_6789,

  • You can have a rhinoplasty where strangers will not be able to tell
  • These are concerns that you would bring up to your rhinoplasty surgeon in your consultation and you can pick the one you feel comfortable with
  • Because you want a very specific look, seek out a rhinoplasty specialist who performs it regularly

Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Is an undetectable bulbous tip nosejob / rhinoplasty possible? I'd love a smaller nose, but not if strangers could tell.

The areas that you described and would like improved can be addressed with a subtle natural appearing rhinoplasty performed by an expert artistic plastic surgeon with extensive rhinoplasty experience.

Keep in mind, that following the advice from a surgeon on this or any other website who proposes to tell you what to do based on limited 2 dimensional photos without examining you, physically feeling the tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history, and discussing the pros and cons of the proposed operative procedure with you and your parents may not be in your best interest. I would suggest you find a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) or facial plastic surgeon (otolaryngologist) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Natural rhinoplasty.

You can have what you describe IF you go to an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon who does natural, non operated looking noses. 

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


The goal of rhinoplastic surgery is to make it look natural.  It is often a complication from rhinoplasty that leaves telltale signs.  These risks are reduced with an experienced board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeon.  You would meet your goals with a closed rhinoplasty which further minimizes the chance of it looking "done."  Your main concern seems to be the tip.  When the lower lateral cartilages (which cause the bulbous appearance of your nose) are partly removed from inside the nose, a natural look is the result.  Best wishes.

David Alessi, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 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.