What Exactly is Tip Refinement?

My doctor said my tip won't be as refined as someone with thin skin. I definitely understand the reasoning of that. I just want to know what exactly is tip refinement. Is it removing cartilage tissue that makes your nose tip what you call bulbous? Upturning your nose tip, or elevating your tip? Or does it mean all of that? I would just like a better understanding from you doctors because you guys actually take the time to help others, which is nice.

Doctor Answers 6

What is tip refinement

The term tip refinement applies to al the situations that you mention in your question. Not everybody that undergoes a rhinoplasty needs to have all of this done (or any tip refinement for that matter), but these are all techniques that we use to reshape the tip.

We normally use a combination of some cartilage excision with suture techniques to reshape the tip. This allows us to narrow, rotate, enlarge and or modify it as needed. Cartilage grafts are often used to gain height and/or definition of the nasal tip. This is particularly helpful in people with thick skin.

Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Tip Refinement

In rhinoplasty jargon, the term "Tip Refinement" simply means reshaping the nasal tip to improve its appearance. This can involve making the tip narrower, smaller, less bulbous, less boxy, more/less upturned -- depending on the goals of the surgery.

The techniques used to achieve these goals depend on the type and shape of the patient's nose. Also, skin thikness can impact the result of "tip refinement". Changes to the tip may be less appearant in thick skin patients compared to thin skin patients.

C. Spencer Cochran, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 134 reviews

What Exactly is Tip Refinement?


Thank you for your question.  “nasal tip correction”, “simple rhinoplasty” there is no need for a bone excision however these minor operations cannot be beneficial for everyone. The operation type is need to be determined by the surgeon according to needs of the patient. In these minor operations the rhinoplasty is performed with closed method. The bone and the cartilage tissues are not involved in the surgery directly. Small nasal bumps can be removed in these operations.

In the operation that needs the bone and cartilage tissues to be involved; open approach is used. In the procedures with open approach, the size, shape and functionality of the nose can be improved. The big nasal bumps can be removed and septal deviations can be corrected providing a better nasal airway.

Tip Refinement

Another word for "refinement" is "definition". With the thick overlying skin the surgeon cannot demonstrate the clear, visible shape and contour of the underlying cartilage. This is the result, regardless of what maneuver or technique is used during the operation. Be grateful that your surgeon is honest with you and is trying to establish reasonable expectations.

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

Tip refinement

Tip refinement is a myriad of techniques that are performed on the cartilages of the nasal tip to refine the nose, make it thinner, less bulbous and more pleasing. There are multiple different techniques that are used including cartilage grafts, tip grafts, and strut grafts, and sometimes removing cartilage. The tip refinement is usually performed at the same time as a rhinoplasty but can be performed independently if only the tip is out of balance with the remainder of the nose.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Tip refinement rhinoplasty techniques

Tip refinement refers to reshaping and in most cases narrowing the dimensions of the nasal tip. Various techniques are used to achieve this depending on the patient, including dome division, cephalic margin trim and dome binding. Sometimes the cartilage is reshaped by removing small sections of it, but more commonly with modern rhinoplasty techniques, the cartilages are repositioned and reshaped rather than reduced. Tip refinement techniques are often used in conjunction with tip rotation (elevation).

Thomas Buonassisi, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 99 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.