Can Rhinoplasty Refine a Thick "Meaty" Female Nose?

I've always thought my nose is too big and "meaty." Recently, a friend said my nose also "lacks shape" and looks like "a mound of meat on my face" -- sounds kind of disgusting. I guess there are more unappealing things about my nose that I haven't noticed. What's wrong with my nose? Can Rhinoplasty help me fix these problems? What needs to be done?

Doctor Answers 16

Your nose looks perfectly natural. Rhinoplasty can change the shape if you wish.

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Dear JustMaybe,

I think your nose looks perfectly natural and normal. I think your friend was beeing rude and inappropriate.

You have a very pleasing normal Asian face with nice features.

Rhinoplasty can be done but reducing the thickness of the skin is impossible.

Cartilage grafts can be used to build up the bridge and elevate and narrow the tip. This would change your nose significantly to a more caucasion or Occidental type of nose.

If you never disliked your nose and are happy with your Asian features, dont consider Rhinoplasty. I would ignore the "friend" who made such a rude statement.

Rhinoplasty is not uncommon for Asian patients

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I do see patients in the Chicago area of all ethnic backgrounds and rhinoplasty is a common request, second to upper eyelid procedures in patients of Asian descent.

As I viewed your pictures you look very plesant and attractive and I don't see anything really wrong with your nose. It is unfortunate that your friend has been so critical and it is certain to bruise feelings. Nothing needs to be done at all.

Certainly your nose can be changed with rhinoplasty and others will consider raising the bridge with some narrowing of the nose, and also thinning and refining the tip.

Cosmetic surgery should only be considered if you feel the changes will enhance your life and who you are. We are seldom sucessful trying to change ourselves to suit anothers expectations. The answer as to whether you should consider rhinoplasty is within you alone. And while you are considering, make some new friends who can like who you are and support the decisions you make for yourself.

Best of luck.

Be careful what you wish for

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I had a patient who had an ethnic nose come asking to look like someone not of their ethnicity. Typically, the media glorifies the small petite nose of the caucasian starlets.

After the patient received the procedure, her family and church responded in a negative fashion because she lost part of her ethnic look and charm. With that said, there are things that can be done to you nose in part or in total to make it look more petite;

1. Defatting of the skin: a technique that can help to narrow the tip of the nose. Be careful, this technique has risks and should only be attempted by someone with experience using it.

2. Reshaping the nasal tip cartilage with sutures and grafts: this routine technique can be used to add a tighter more pyramidal shape to the nasal tip. It can also add projection.

3. Adding projection to the dorsal profile so that it is straighter.

4. Softening the angle of the columella to the lip so it is not so angular.

Best of luck.

Reducing the Thickness of the Tip

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Thank you for the question and your pictures. First, your nose looks natural and appropriate for your face. That said, if you wanted to make it thinner, this is possible but challenging.  The relative volume of cartilage to fibrous and fatty tissue in the tip of the nose is different in most Asian noses.  This gives a rounder or more bulbous shape to the tip.  Tip definition can be improved by removing some of the fibrofatty tissue, reshaping the cartilages, and adding certain types of cartilage grafts.  In addition, the nostril size and shape are often changed at the same time, to maintain harmony between the parts of the nose.

Thinning the tissue under the skin can help

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Thinning of the subcutaneous tissue can give minimal changes in your type of nose. Patients who have this surgery are often not happy because the expect a thin skinned nose and this can't be done. Your nose looks good the way if is. It can be made to look smaller by doing a chin implant to balance your face. This would be I think a more satisfying procedure for you.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Thick skin can be reason for thick nose

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Rhinoplasty surgery is not performed for thick skin on the nose; it is not a skin operation. The skin is lifted up, the bone and the cartilage is sculpted, and the skin is placed back down. Thick skin will obscure refinement in the nose after a rhinoplasty. The skin cannot be thinned down. The thickest skin on the nose typically is in the tip with thick olive, oily, sebaceous-type skin. Very thick-tip-skinned individuals are probably not going to get the desired cosmetic result from nasal surgery.

Rhinoplasty for Asian Nose

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There is nothing wrong with your nose. Please do not let someone else give you a complex about your nose. Cosmetic surgery is designed for the patient to help them achieve what they want, based on a decision they make for themselves. While a rhinoplasty can help you refine the contour of your nose, please only proceed with the surgery if  YOU think there's something "wrong" with your nose. 

Thick nose

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Yes a rhinoplasty can refine a thick some degree...mostly depending on the thickness of the skin. You have to see a surgeon who has experience and confidence in thinning the skin of the nose. The other major maneuver involved is cartilage grafting to give the nose shape, support, and usually projection. These noses need material added not removed which only makes them look saggier and less defined. Thinning and/or moving the nostrils medially may also help if done conservatively so as to look natural

Involves tricky surgery, see an experienced surgeon

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To JustMaybe,

Hi! The lower part of your nose and the tip of your nose can be made more defined and "sculptured" with internal sutures and grafts. Since this is something you have thought about for a while, go ahead.

But this is tricky surgery, and the correction of the "ethnic" nose (Asian, African American) is a subspecialty in its own right. So make sure to go to a very experienced surgeon, and ask to see lots of before and after pictures.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty can change nose shape, not necessarily make your nose thinner

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Your nose looks fine and very natural. Asian rhinoplasty can change the shape of your nose, but it is very difficult to reduce the thickness of your skin. If you are absolutely sure that you want to change the shape of your nose, consult a surgeon who is experienced in Asian rhinoplasty and ask to see before and after photos of previous patients. I would also recommend looking for a surgeon who has an advanced photo software system so you can see a 3D image of what you would look like with a rhinoplasty.

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.