Getting Nasal Spine Removed, Should id Not be Messed with? (photo)

What percentage of people have to get some or all of their nasal spine removed? I had a consultation with one of the top Texas plastic surgeons and he said he doesn't like to mess with removing that bone because it can cause drooping of the nose later on. I had 2/3 say leave nasal spine and one say go after it. I need drastic results since I may not get a chin implant, so I'm not sure what to do..Also, what percentage of people have some nostril/alar base cut out?

Doctor Answers 8

Removal of the Nasal Spine is Important for a Minority of Patients

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Not everyone needs to have the nasal spine removed.  However, there is a significant portion of patients for whom it is very appropriate and wise.  Typically those are patients who have an indefinite junction between the upper part of the lip and the base of the nose.  When there is a web-like appearance on profile, this suggests that there is plentiful tissue taking up space and that is usually the nasal spine and perhaps the nasal septum just above it. 

The combination of a prominent nasal spine and generous nasal septum often creates what we call a “tension nose” in which the tip of the nose over-protrudes forward.  It can also be caused by a high septum, whether straight or deviated, just above the tip of the nose.  In any event, a complete examination always includes looking and feeling and determining if in fact the nose deserves sculpture at that nose-lip angle.  In your photograph, there is a suggestion that, in fact, a careful evaluation of that portion of the anatomy be examined. 

As far as the surgeon saying that he “doesn’t like to mess with removing that bone because it can cause drooping of the nose later on,” my comment is: he is correct in that what he calls "drooping of the nose" may well mean the nasal tip recesses, which of course is desirable.  The long-term effects are never absolutely certain.  Generally, if certain technical measures are followed, the nose will not necessarily droop downwards, therefore narrowing the nose-lip angle.  But all of this is sophisticated and complex and should be addressed by an experienced nasal surgeon

Many years ago, I gave a paper at one of the medical meetings entitled “The Importance of the Nasal Spine in Rhinoplasty.”  I was inspired by studying the anatomy of that area, as well illustrated in one of the original and classic textbooks of cosmetic surgery, written by the late Tom Rees.  That was my bible early in my study of rhinoplasty, and his illustration of the anatomy there suggested that this was an area that needed to have further understanding and hopefully mastery. 

Regarding the chin implant: your chin appears to be minimally “receding.”  Your head position also determines how the chin looks.  I suspect if your head position is just tucked a bit down your chin would look less prominent. 

One practical means by which you can evaluate the benefit of a chin implant would be to have the surgeon do the KOTLER SALINE DEMO by which a sterile saline solution is injected underneath the skin in front of the bone; thats plumps up the soft tissue of the chin, mimicking the effect of a chin implant procedure.  This is very helpful for you to see the result.  I recommend that you consider that. 

I hope this information is helpful to you.  You are thinking along the right lines, you are getting good advice, and I think you need to continue your study further before making a final decision about what components of the rhinoplasty should be performed and, of course, if chin augmentation is a wise undertaking for you. 

Robert Kotler, MD, FACS
Nasal and Facial Plastic Surgeon

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Removing nasal spine done without complications

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The only way to get rid of this area of the nasal spine is to remove a portion of the bony and cartilaginous septum along the columella.  This will involve removing a portion of the nasal spine to tuck the area in.  If this portion of the columella is left intact, it will leave a telltale sign of having had a rhinoplasty.  We have removed the nasal spine in many such cases like this without any complications.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews


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I do not believe that. If you suture the tip cartilages to the septal cartilage the tip is not going to droop after nasal spine removal.The only other option is removal of part of the lower edge of the septal cartilage but I am not sure that is indicated in your case.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Partial nasal spine removal beneficial when indicated

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It appears that you may be a good candidate for partial nasal spine removal. Drooping may occur if septum is not anchored properly. I actually drill a hole through the base of the nasal spine to permanently secure septum to ensure a solid/stable structure. Again, if indicated, your nostrils can also be reduced. I hope this helps, Dr. H

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Nasal Spine Removal

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I have never heard of a Rhinoplasty Surgeon refusing to remove some or all of the nasal spine when it is indicated.  Although a photo is not a substitution for a physical exam, it appears that your nasal spine should be reduced.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

Removal of Nasal Spine

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As I said in response to two previous questions I do recommend that the fullness at the top of your upper lip be reduced, whether it is the nasal spine or an extension of the end of your septum.

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

Rhinoplasty and nasal spine.

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Please see my prior answer.  Reduction of a nasal spine is basic for a rhinoplastic surgeon.  You appear to be a good candidate.  

David Alessi, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Correcting the nasal spine

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please see my previous answer..   this spine should absolutely be addressed with your rhinoplasty. this is fairly basic

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 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.