Would a rhinoplasty take care of the sides of my nose? (photo)

There are a number of things I'd like to correct about my nose (bulbous tip, wide base, wide nostrils) but I'm most concerned about the bony sides of the bridge. Are these considered the dorsal sidewalls? I'm not sure what the correct term for them is, or if they're even considered a part of the nose. But I do feel that the "height" of this bony area makes my upper nose seem very chunky and masculine. Do rhinoplasties typically take care of this part of the face?

Doctor Answers 10

Yes! Rhinoplasty, some advices:

Thank you very much for the questions.
The harmony between facial parts makes us instinctively recognize the beauty... without knowing it, without defining it, just a perception that surprises and captivates us.

In this regard, After having analyzed all the info. and photos provided to us, i recommend you perform an Open Full Rhinoplasty, includding narrowing of the nasal base and nostrils, with nasal bones treatment (controled fracture) and alar + triangular nasal cartilages re-shaping.
With this procedure you get a delicate nose, better harmonize with your other facial features.

Dr. Emmanuel Mallol.-

Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 271 reviews

Chunky nose

Hello and thank you for your question. A rhinoplasty will definitely address your lateral nasal wall. The technique is called infracture and it will allow the surgeon to narrow the width of your nose thereby providing you with a more feminine appearance. Good luck. 

Dr. Burnett

Carlos Burnett, MD, FACS
Westfield Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews


There can be different contributions to this. Some of it can be illusion due to low bridge, some due to wide nasal bones tho typically this is a minor contribution, if any, to your area as the bones are typically very short in AfricanAmericans noses, and some can be due to the form/position of the portion of the maxillary bone that forms the nasal opening in the skull. These can all be dealt with, though each one in a different manner, during a skilled rhinoplasty.

Robert H. Hunsaker, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Would a rhinoplasty take care of the sides of my nose?

Absolutely. The bones can be shifted inward to create a thinner bridge.  You can certainly refine the tip and the alar base as well. I think that rhinoplasty is really about listening to what the patient wants and then having the technical skill to execute those wishes.

Find a board certified plastic surgeon who performs rhinoplasties and rhinoplasty revisions every week. Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Nasal vault sidewall reduction in African American rhinoplasty.

The area of the nose that you are referencing can be referred to as the nasal vault sidewall.  The nasal vault is essentially the middle third of the nose and has a dorsum (the top) also known as the bridge and a right and left sidewall which meet with the face at the naso-facial groove.  From your photos it would appear that this area is particularly prominent and wide.  This area can be reduced using bone cuts or osteotmies to narrow the bony portion of the sidewall at this location.  In some cases it may be necessary to decrease the thickness of bone in this area.  I have done this using a small incision in the oral cavity and accessing the naso-facial groove with a powered bone cutting burr. 

Please keep in mind when planning your rhinoplasty, that overall balance and harmony between the nose and the rest of the nose is paramount.  In the case of ethnic rhinoplasty, one needs to balance the degree to which the nasal features are modified versus preservation of ethnic appearance:  more may not be better.  

Mario J. Imola, MD, DDS, FRCSC, FACS.

Mario J. Imola, MD, DDS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Wide bony vault

It appears that you are concerned with the width of the bony vault of your nose. Some other common concerns that prompt black patients to seek rhinoplasty include the flat bridge and the width of the lower nose including flaring of the nostrils. Additionally, a flat, large, ill-defined tip may also accompany these other features. Increasing the height of the dorsum will help to balance the profile but also improve definition of the bridge from the front view. In the case of a wide bony vault, osteotomies (controlled fractures of the bones) can be performed to narrow the bony vault of the nose and narrow the point of inflection where the cheek appears to transition into the nasal sidewall of the nose. This change in the bony vault along with improving tip definition and projection can help to make the nose appear less flat and wide giving the nose more definition. Typically, alar base surgery is also required to decrease the flaring or an excessively rounded appearance of the nostrils as well as their size. Although it is possible to make the nose look significantly better with rhinoplasty, it is important that the resulting changes still appear in balance with the other facial features and remain ethnically congruent to avoid an unnatural result and stigmatizing result.

The goal of rhinoplasty surgery should be to create a nose that is best suited to your face both in proportion and shape so that you achieve the most natural looking result. If done well, it is possible to achieve a result after rhinoplasty that looks significantly better to you while making it not obvious that surgery was ever performed.

You would benefit from a consultation with a board certified plastic surgery that has significant experience with rhinoplasty in black patients.

Jamil Ahmad, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

African American rhinoplasty

The rhinoplasty procedure can address the bulbous tip with suture techniques to the lower lateral cartilages. The wide base is addressed with an alar plasty procedure and small wedges of skin are removed from the base of the nostrils. The  dorsal sidewalls of the nose are narrowed with medial and lateral osteotomies. The height of the nose can be shaved down if there's a hump, or added cartilage grafting if it's too low. 

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

African American Rhinoplasty


The sidewalls of your nose do contribute to the width and bulkiness. However, your flat bridge also impacts the width, that's why many ethnic patients get some sort of dorsal augmentation to elevate the bridge making it appear more narrow. The best way to see this is to get computer imaging before the surgery.



Oleh Slupchynskyj, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 274 reviews

Changes in the Sides of the Nose with Rhinoplasty

You accurately describe the changes that you would like to make. Surgery in a nose like yours always includes narrowing the sides in the bony area. Select an experienced rhinoplasty specialist.

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

Bony narrowing and Rhinoplasty

The issue of the upper nose being wide that you mention is a very common issue. Narrowing the sidewalls is accomplished by osteotomies (bone cuts) and then narrowing the nasal bones. If your case I would suggest perforating double lateral osteotomies for  narrowing, since the frontal process of the maxilla is prominent in your case. I wrote a paper on this with Dr. William Lawson about 12 years ago. It was published by the archives of facial plastic surgery. If you can look it up and read it, you may find it interesting. There is also a brief explanation of the papers content on my website (newfaceny.com). 

All the best. 

Richard W. Westreich, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 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.