Will Rotating the Nose Have Any Affect on the Nostrils?

My first rhinoplasty is next month and Im torn between reducing the size of my nostrils or not. I've had two consultations and each surgeon recomended reducing my nostrils. However, Im a bit reluctant to do so as I've seen many unnatural nostrils after this surgery, also never really had an issue with the size of my nostrils. My question is can nostril "flare" become a bit reduced with just rotating the tip and bringing in the profile? I'd like a bit less flare without a alar base reduction.

Doctor Answers 7

Will Rotating the Nose Have Any Affect on the Nostrils?

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It's impossible to say what is best without seeing photos or examining your nose. Typically, if your nose is being reduced or brought closed to your cheeks than you can expect your existing flare to actually become more significant. If two Facial Plastic Surgeons have recommended alar base reduction, then it is likely something that you will need. However, if you choose not to undergo alar base modification and wind up with too much flare or feel that your nasal base is too wide, these modifications can be performed in the office following rhinoplasty. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Lone Tree Facial Plastic Surgeon

Nostril narrowing as part of rhinoplasty

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If you are not bothered by your nostrils then I would not recommend a nostril narrowing procedure as part of your rhinoplasty.  I always point out that any change to one part of the nose may potentially result in a change to another part of the nose.  Likewise, any alteration to the nose that results in a change in the appearance from one view will result in changes to the appearance of the nose from other views.  Rotation of the tip will increase the amount of nostril show from the front view.  Deprojection of the tip of the nose may result in MORE not LESS flaring of the nostrils from the front view.   

Andrew B. Denton, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon

Flaring nostrils

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  The nostrils tend to flare more after the rhinoplasty procedure when a large hump reduction has occurred, or a significant de-projection of the nose during the rhinoplasty procedure. At that time an  alar-plasty is usually performed to keep the nostrils in balance with the remainder of the nose. A well executed  alar-plasty  incision placed at the floor of the nostril usually  heals quite well.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

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Nostrils and tip

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Flare can be treated by excising a small amount of tissue along the alar rim.  Tip work will not reduce flare significantly.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
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Rotating the tip of the nose during rhinoplasty will affect the amount of nostril that shows.

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Tip rotation is often a part of an aesthetic rhinoplasty. Rotating it tip upwards too much can leave the nose looking pig like because too much nostril is showing.

Alar Base Reduction

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   If you do not want the alar base reduction or nostril narrowing surgery then you do not have to have this done.  If you regret the decision later, performing this procedure later is not particularly challenging.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Nostril width with rhinoplasty

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Generally rotating the tip and reducing the bridge will not reduce the alar flare.  Generally with reduction rhinoplasty the tip is actually deprojected slightly and the flare beomes more significant after the rhinoplasty. If you are not comfortable doing nostril narrowing as your surgeon to stage the procedure.  You can to the rest of the rhinoplasty procedure and assess nostrils after the procedure. If you still desire nostril narrowing after the primary procedure conservative nostril narrowing can be done in the office with local anesthesia. 

Philip Solomon, MD, FRCS
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 119 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.