I Have A Wide, Flat Nose. Can It Be Changed? (photo)

I have been very unhappy with my nose for several years now and have wanted rhinoplasty for about a year and a half. I don't want just a thinner nose, I want it to be completely different. Thinner and instead of being flat I would like it to have a point to it. With that being said, because my nose is so wide and big, is it going to be harder and more dangerous for me to get rhinoplasty? Will the recovery process take longer?

Doctor Answers 26

Thinner nose

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


In order to change your nose and give it more definition you will need to have some grafting done. I only use cartilage grafts and will often use rib cartilage in cosmetic cases where a lot of tissue is needed to achieve the desired results. Your nasal dorsum will have to be augmented, your tip defined with a tip graft and your alar base would have to be narrowed. Get a couple of opinions at least form experienced rhinoplasty surgeons in your area. Good luck!

Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 28 reviews


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Improving the nasal bridgemost likely with grafts will make it appear narrower. Performing grafting to the tip and refining the cartilages may help, but remember if the overlying soft tissue is thick, it may amke it difficult to get as much definition as you would like.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Rhinoplasty for Wide/Flat Nose

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
For sure your nose could achieve a rather significant improvement in terms of being more refined with a defined tip.  The key - establishing a strong columella/tip, after which the rest of the nose will fall into place.  Likely this requires using septal cartilage for a columellar strut, and other challenging techniques.  Do your homework and make sure you see plenty of before and after photos of cases like yours. 

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Correction of wide, flat nose.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The only 'danger' you really face in having a surgery on your nose is in not choosing someone who has experience with nasal anatomy such as yours. Typically a nose like yours will require more surgical steps to enhance its appearance. Cartilage from the nose or ears, or perhaps an implant for the bridge of your nose will most likely be necessary to give you the look you want. That said, you should be able to find someone who can go very far towards creating more of the appearance you would like. Best of Luck  Dr Harrell

Ethnic Rhinoplasty.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Your photos are very helpful.  Your analysis is accurate and I agree that your nose calls undue attention to itself and away from the rest of your beautiful facial features.  The changes you are asking for fall into the realm of ethinic rhinoplasty and reshaping is definitely possible . 

In general, African, Asian and Hispanic noses will have the following features when compared to a Caucasian nose:

  • Increased width across the middle vault and nasal base.
  • Decreased projection of the dorsum as well as the tip of the nose.
  • Increased nostril flaring.

In most cases the ethnic nose is proportional to and 'fits' the rest of the face.  However, if reshaping is desired then ethnic rhinoplasty usually involves one or more maouevers:

  • Dorsal augmentation grafting.  My preference is to use one's own tissues (autologous grafts) such as ear cartilage or rib grafts.  The technique I have gravitated to uses diced cartilage packed into a temporalis fascia cylinder.  This technique is excellent in that it is very well accepted when compared to synthetic implants and avoids the major pitfalls of solid cartilage grafts such as warping or graft edge visibility.
  • Increased tip projection and definition. This can be accomplished using a combination of one or more of the following:  tip grafts, selective tip cartilage excsion and suture techniques.
  • Alar base narrowing and nostril modification.  The width across the nostrils as well as nostril flare can be reduced using excision techniques.

I wish you the best of luck.

Mario J. Imola, MD, DDS, FRCSC.


Mario J. Imola, MD, DDS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

African American Rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
It is definitely possible to change the appearance of your nose. It appears that you would most likely need narrowing of the entire framework with augmentation of the bridge and creation of a narrower, more projected tip.
The height of the bridge requires placement of cartilage grafts. I usually use diced cartilage (ear or rib) wrapped in fascia from your temple. Augmenting the bridge gives the illusion of narrowing it as well--although, we occasionally also break the nasal bones to improve the effect. The tip will most likely require an extended cartilage graft going from the base of your nose between the nostrils to the new high point of tip definition. This can be either nasal septal cartilage, double-layered ear cartilage or rib cartilage. And finally, the base of your nose will need the appropriate amount of narrowing via any of several techniques. Because of various skin thicknesses, it has been my practice to inject various medications to decrease scar formation and use taping to help modulate the final outcome.

Stephen J. Pincus, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Ethnic (African American) Rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Yes, you can achieve significant improvement with narrowing of the dorsum (bridge), tip and base of the nose with the correct procedures. Thi includes tip reshaping and rotation and increased projection in most cases, along with dosal augmentation and alar base narrowing in correct proportion to the other maneuvers. You can achieve a more natural look.Cartilage grafting will be needed, so discuss this with a surgeon who has experience with this procedure, and is well trained and board certified.

Harrison C. Putman III, MD
Peoria Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Rhinoplasty for the ethnic nose.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Your nose can be narrower along with the base and the tip refined and narrowed to give you what u want. This is. A common nose for those of us who have done this for 35 years. Choose a surgeon who does natural A-A noses.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Improving a Wide, Flat Nose

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Your nose can be significantly improved with rhinoplasty surgery. The nasal bridge,tip, and nasal base can all be narrowed. I cannot tell from the pictures submitted but frequently is necessary to graft the bridge and tip to improve definition. Select a surgeon who is experienced in African American rhinoplasty.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

I Have A Wide, Flat Nose. Can It Be Changed? (photo)

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thanks for the different views of your nose. Best to be seen in person by a boarded PS in your area. But Yes you can achieve an improvement by having rhinoplasty surgery. 

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.