I'm Hispanic/Italian and have a bulbous tip & flared nostrils. Will getting a nostril reduction effect my breathing? (photos)

I'm Hispanic/Italian and I have a bulbous tip and flared nostrils. I've been wanting to get my nose done but I'm terrified that it I get nostril reduction I won't be able to breathe through my nose. When I try to narrow my nostrils with my fingers to see how it might look, it's harder for me to breathe. I don't know if that will have anything to do with how well I'm able to breathe, but I have such bad anxiety over it and I'm scared I won't be able to get the surgery.

Doctor Answers 9

No one should EVER breathe worse after rhinoplasty

Everything is in the nose for a reason.  Planning the rhinoplasty should take into account the relative size of each anatomical part, its proportion, and its function.  You should expect to breath at least as well--and often better--after rhinoplasty.  Preserving the nasal airway is the surgeon's most important job.  The supports to the airways are well researched and well known and an experienced surgeon can help you.  Find a surgeon whom you trust and who can show you results in noses like yours that you like.  Then you can proceed confidently.

Nashua Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Rhinoplasty candidate for bulbous tip reduction and alar plasty

 The Rhinoplasty procedure can narrow the bulbous tip with suture techniques to the lower lateral cartilages, and sometimes a conservative cartilage removal. The alar plasty procedure involves removal of a small wedge of skin at the base of the nostrils to narrow the nostrils themselves. An experienced rhinoplasty surgeon can minimize the risks for nasal obstruction.

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

I'm Hispanic/Italian and have a bulbous tip & flared nostrils. Will getting a nostril reduction effect my breathing?

  The tip and alar base can be reduced without compromising breathing.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Nostril Narrowing and Breathing

Unless nostril narrowing is overdone, it does not cause impairment in nasal breathing. There are other aspects of a rhinoplasty that may and these are more important to look out for than that of nostril narrowing alone.

Alar base reduction and effect on breathing

Alar base reduction or nostril narrowing by itself usually does not considerably effect breathing. In the short-term swelling from any nasal surgery will cause some congestion. Tip narrowing is more likely to cause long term problems with your nasal breathing if it is overly narrowed. Consult with a board-certified surgeon who has extensive experience in rhinoplasty surgery.

Kristina Tansavatdi, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

I'm Hispanic/Italian and have a bulbous tip & flared nostrils. Will getting a nostril reduction effect my breathing?

Breathing is usually NOT an issue with alar reduction and tip rhinoplasty. But you need to come to terms with this. Best to discuss with your surgeon again... 

Bulbous Tip, Flared Nostrils

If the procedure is done by an experienced surgeon you can refine the tip and reduce the flared nostrils without compromising your airway. Surgery is not analogous to just manipulating the nose when no tissue is removed or  surgically repositioned.

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

Alar base reduction

A well executed alar base reduction will not result in airway collapse. Looking at your tip, refining techniques would help improve the bulbous round appearance which would be aesthetically pleasing. Visit with an American board of plastic surgery surgeon or a facial plastic surgeon for best results.


David Shifrin, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Alar base modification and potential effect on breathing

Conservative alar base modification will not impair your breathing.  Seeking out a rhinoplasty specialist who respects the structure of your nose, and knows how to maintain its proper function is important in achieving a successful result. 

Donald B. Yoo, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 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.