Rhinoplasty Options for Wide Nose Bridge?

I have a very wide nose bridge and wanted to know what could be done. I have always hated my nose because I feel its too wide, what are some of my options?

Doctor Answers 22

There are a number of ways to narrow the bridge of the nose

A wide nasal bridge may be from just that, wide nasal bones. The nasal bones make up the upper third of the nose. However if the nasal bones are very small, as is common in African American noses, narrowing them often has little effect. Sometimes actually raising the profile of the nose by adding what is called a dorsal graft can make the bridge appear narrower. The rest of the nose can be made more slender as well yet not sacrifice ethnicity.

New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Ethnic rhinoplasty to reduce nose width

An ethnic rhinoplasty can be performed to reduce the width. This would involve osteotomies of the nasal bones to reduce the nasal bridge width, an alar base reduction to bring in the nostrils and various suturing techniques to narrow the nasal tip. This could all be done through a closed rhinoplasty under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. Look for a surgeon who has performed thousands of rhinoplasties including ethnic rhinoplasty.

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

Wide nose and rhinoplasty

Hi Kendra,

Your nose can definitely be refined by reducing the nasal bridge width, the base of the nose, and the tip. In thicker skin, the results are more subtle and your swelling may last longer. See a board-certified plastic surgeon or ENT surgeon in your area and be sure to ask for before/afters to get a sense of how different skin types respond to surgery. Good luck.

Nina S. Naidu, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Rhinoplasty to address width of nose

It appears that you are concerned with the width of the bony vault of your nose. This is the upper third of the nose and includes both dorsum (bridge) and nasal sidewall (between the bridge and the transition point of the nose-cheek junction). A flat dorsum  along with a wide bony vault is common in black patients seeking rhinoplasty. Some other common concerns that prompt black patients to seek rhinoplasty include the width of the lower nose including flaring of the nostrils, and a flat, large, ill-defined tip. 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
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews


Various methods are available to narrow the nasal bones.  Many can be done without external scarring.  Your main concern is to see a nasal surgeon with a broad experience in rhinoplasty. Many  aesthetic  plastic  surgeons  feel  rhinoplasty  is  the  most  artistic and difficult cosmetic surgical procedure. I agree. Every change the surgeon makes has three-dimensional aspects that instantly alter other areas of the nose, like the ripple effect from a single stone cast into a quiet pond. As if that wasn’t enough, the nose swells during the procedure, obscuring landmarks, and some- times heals unpredictably. A limited number of experts specialize in rhinoplasty, so do your homework. With rhinoplasty, the touch-up rate is a solid 15 percent nationally.


Joe Gryskiewicz, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 278 reviews

Options for wide nose bridge

A well-performed Rhinoplasty should improve the contour of your entire nose, not just the wide bridge. It should be the objective of an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon to give you a better defined and a more delicate nose that will match the features of your face.

Sigmund L. Sattenspiel, MD
Freehold Facial Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty options for a wide nasal bridge

Below are three options for a nose with a wide bridge.

1) Break the nasal bones and move them closer together.
2) Placing a cartilage graft on the bridge will move the bridge further from the face and appear narrower.
3) A combination of the two above methods.

The best cartilage grafts are from your own cartilages, either from septal cartilage inside your nose or cartilage from between your ribs. Ear cartilage is too convoluted and in time will produce irregularities on your bridge. Rib cartilage will give the most increase in height but must be carved carefully so it is rounded on the top and gives a natural shape.

From your photograph your nose appears wide and you should remember that the best appearing nose for you is one that is natural looking and in proportion with the surrounding facial features. The different parts of the nose (body and tip) should also be proportional so that if your bridge is made narrower, the tip should be made narrower also. I hope this helps.

Jack P. Gunter, MD (retired)
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Many options for a narrower nasal bridge

Although relatively thick skin can limit the results of any maneuver to narrow the bridge (dorsum), there are some tricks to creating better proportion here. In addition to narrowing the nasal bones with osteotomies, it's often helpful to add a meticulously carved dorsal onlay graft, ideally fashioned from the patient's own cartilage.

Care has to be taken, though, to avoid creating other disproportions in the process such as a radix that's too high (where the root of the nose meets the forehead) or a tip that seems too broad. A good rhinoplastic surgeon should be able to give you a sense of what's realistic for your particular nose.

All the best,


David C. Pearson, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

African American Rhinoplasty


The best way to narrow the width of your nose is to narrow your nasal bones and place a custom carved nasal implant. The height of the implant will make your nose look more narrow just a higher mountain would look more narrow than a short  mountain when looking from the top.



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

Rhinoplasty for the ethnic nose.

The bridge, tip and base (nostrils) can all be made smaller and with a better shape. I like to retain the patient's ethnicity however and make a natural looking nose. Make sure you see an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon in ethnic rhinoplasty. 

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 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.