Is there a surgery specifically for columella shortening? Or trimming of the cartilage areas between the nostrils? (Photos)

This issue seems to be getting worse the older I get. It did not look like this in highschool. I don't know the correct term for it but I believe it's the columella. It's very defined and gets extra pointy/thin when I smile. I am pleased with the rest of my nose and the size. I just want, what looks to be excess cartilage to be removed & possibly smaller nostrils. There is also a ridge or indent (seen in photos) that was not as defined years ago. What procedure would you recommend for this? Thx!

Doctor Answers 3

Columellar reduction

The bridge of skin between the nostrils at the base of the nose is the columella. It can be elevated/reduced from a hanging position through either an open or closed rhinoplasty approach. The latter is used when columellar reduction is needed with few other modifications to the nose. Be careful not to just focus on one aspect of the nose; make sure you review with your surgeon a thorough analysis of the nose and what options exist for your individualized rhinoplasty. Worsening with smile may indicate the need for better nasal tip support. Nostril reduction (a.k.a. alar base reduction) can be performed through either the open or closed approach. Good luck. Keep educating yourself. 


Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Columella reduction will benefit you

Your self asssessment is on the mark. Columella adjustment is quite a simple procedure and it will benefit you exactly the way you have described. Look for a competent plastic surgeon in your area. 

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Columella-plasty for decreasing the hanging columella

When patients have a hanging columella, a columella-plasty is performed to reduce the amount of  Columellar show. Excess skin and cartilage is removed from both sides of the columella either as a stand-alone procedure, or in combination with a full rhinoplasty.  For many before and after columella- plasty results, please see the link and the video below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 129 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.