Is my Nose Really Not Suitable for Rhinoplasty?

I went for a Rhinoplasty consultation 2 years ago, and the surgeon said nothing could be done for me. I have a very big, wide, round nose with large nostrils which dominates my face and I really had my heart set on having it re-shaped to a smaller 'less round' and bulbous shape. Is it true that nothing can be done, and my type of nose isn't suitable for surgery, or is it worth having a few more consultations?

Doctor Answers 12

Important to have more than one consultation

It is important to get another consultation or even two additional consultations so that you feel confident about the opinions expressed regarding whether or not to proceed with a rhinoplasty. There is nothing wrong with getting three different opinions from three surgeons. If all three surgeons recommend no rhinoplasty surgery, then I would heed their advice.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Nose Suitable for Rhinoplasty?

It is safe to say that all virgin noses can be improved with rhinoplasty as long as reasonable expectations are established pre-operatively. This may not be true for some noses that have undergone numerous procedures (for example, Michael Jackson). I suggest getting a second opinion from an experienced surgeon.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

A Weir Alar Base resection or nostril narrowing Rhinoplasty may help

Wide flared nostrils can be reduced with a technique called an Alar Base Resection.

This procedure can bring nostril width back into proper [proportion with the width of the face.

Seek consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in Rhinoplasty.

See before and after Photos of Weir Alar Base resection Rhinoplasty.

Seek the Advice of a Rhinoplasty Specialist

Most patients are candidates for rhinoplasty. The degree to which the nose can be made smaller depends on the individuals characteristics. Seek a second opinion from one or more surgeons who specialize in rhinoplasty

It is possible for rhinoplasty results to appear natural as long as the nose is proportional and in balance with the other facial features. The best nose job is one in which other people cant tell that surgery has been performed.

To get a better understanding of what your nose would look like after surgery, your prospective rhinoplasty surgeon should be able to show you before and after computer simulations. Many rhinoplasty surgeons use computer imaging, and recently 3D rhinoplasty imaging has become available.

C. Spencer Cochran, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

Rhinoplasty - too Big??

Your question may be more accurately answered if photographs showing your concerns were attached. It is hard to buy clothing for someone without knowing their size or cook a meal without knowing what ingredients are available.

I think all are in agreement that seeing another doctor is the right thing to do. See my other responses on rhinoplasty consultation tips - they may help you with communication = your expectations / doctors ability. See if the Doctor has before and after pictures of patients that are similar to your current nose and look at their outcomes.

Hope this helps

Michael Kulick, MD, DDS
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Rhinoplasty is suitable for big noses

The surgeon you saw was probably being a little too negative about his recommendations. From what you described, it sounds like you have a nose which is a challenging one for a rhinoplasty. However, no matter how big or wide a nose is, a correctly performed rhinoplasty can make an improvement.

It is likely given the way you have described your nose that you also have very thick skin. This is a major challenge in rhinoplasty. If your nose has very thick skin, it will be harder for the changes that are made to the bone and cartilage to show through. This is probably what your surgeon meant to say.

It doesn't mean you won't have an improvement, it just means that you should be prepared for a more subtle result. No surgeon will be able to safely take a big and wide nose and make it into very small and pointy nose. This is expecially if you have thick skin. However, a good surgeon will be able to make it better.

John Diaz, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

You need another opinion!

Hello Tinkerbell1970,

I agree that there is no nose too big for surgery. Your expectations must meet reality though. Depending on your ethnicity, there will be limits to how small you can get and still have a nose that looks harmonious with your face and still functions as a nose should. Make sure you seek out a rhinoplasty specialist who can work with you using rhinoplasty simulation software to get the best idea of what you have in mind. Bringing in pictures of other noses you like also gives your surgeon an idea of your mindset. Fantasy and reality don't mix in plastic surgery. Be reasonable in your goals as dictated by your tissues, and you should have a successful rhinoplasty.

Good luck,

Dr. Shah

Manish H. Shah, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Nose too big for surgery

No nose is too big for surgery. You should get a few more consultations. You should evaluate your nose  and write down on paper exactly what you are trying to accomplish and it will help the consulting physician to figure out if she/he can deliver that or not.


Tanveer Janjua, MD
Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Need further evalutions

The question may be is it possible to change your nose to meet your expectations. As others have stated any suggestions will require photographic evaluation. It is important to understand that nasal surgery can be quite complex and there are different levels of expertise. Another opinion and consultation is advisable.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

No one can give you an answer to this without seeing a photo.

No one can give you an answer to this without seeing a photo - different doctors have different degrees of expertise when it comes to noses. If you go to an expert on noses, maybe some improvements can be made.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 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.