Bulbous Nose Rhinoplasty- Realistic Results? (photo)

I have a bulbous nose that I would like sculpted into a smaller, more refined one that complements my other features rather than detracting from them as it does now. I have a few photos of noses that I would love to have as an end result of rhinoplasty. Obviously an in-person consultation would allow for a better analysis, but all you expert surgeons out there: from what you can see, are any of my desired outcome photos realistic?

Doctor Answers 15

Bulbous tip refinement rhinoplasty

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the greatest limitation that you will have is probably skin thickness. Also based on your photograph I estimate that you are in your late teens. That being said the thickness of your skin may thin a bit with age making refinement of the tip and the outcome a bit simpler and more reliable. Most of my patients are Asian or the very least patients whose ethnic background is associated with thicker skin. The tip certainly can be defined but you may require a full rhinoplasty if you're "mid-vault" as we referred to it or upper lateral cartilages are thick along with wide nasal bones. Have no doubt experienced rhinoplasty surgeon can create a more refined nose for you but depending on your skin thickness there can be some limitations. Some of the photographs you've included show some very defined tips that are augmented in their appearance by makeup and lighting.  so keep that in mind.

Best of luck to you

Chase Lay, MD

facial plastic surgeon San Jose California

Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Rhinoplasty for bulbous tip

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 The biggest single limitation to reduction of the bulbous tip is the thickness of skin that is present in the tip area. Bulbous tip repair is performed by a combination of cartilage removal and cartilage suturing techniques to the nasal tip to refine and narrow the width the tip. Thick skin typically does not shrink wrap around the cartilages well and can leave the tip wider than anticipated in certain individuals.It's important to have realistic expectations. See what can be accomplished in our practice repairing the bulbous tip please see the link below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Can be done

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A lot of refinements can be done in the tip of the nose by suturing & shave reduction techniques.However the final result will depend on the thickness of nasal skin & a clinical examination is a must  before any promises about the final result can be made.


Anup Dhir, MD
India Plastic Surgeon

Realistic Rhinoplasty Results

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Thank you for the question and the photos! Yes, I believe your goals are realistic. From the front view, it looks like you mostly want a slimmer, less bulbous nasal tip.  This can be performed with subtle changes in the shape of the tip cartilages (shaving and suture techniques).  The rotation of your nose appears to be similar to most of the example photos.  Without a profile view, I can't comment specifically a on the bridge of the nose.  Pre-operative imaging can be a great tool during your consultation to help you see what different techniques can offer.  Best of luck moving forward!

Realistic Rhinoplasty Result for Bulbous Nose

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Given what you have naturally, your rhinoplasty goals are somewhat realistic although perhaps not quite as defined as the pictures you are showing. The limitations of refinement in any rhinoplasty is how well the overlying skin shrinks down to the modified cartilages. This is influenced by how thick your nasal skin is and it does not appear that you have as thin a nasal skin as your goal pictures have. 

Bulbous Nose Rhinoplasty - Realistic Results?

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                 Your tip can definitely be refined, and the soft tissue envelope bulk can be reduced to some degree.  All of those photos may be unrealistic, but you need to find the surgeon who can give you the best chance.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of rhinoplasties and rhinoplasty revisions each year.  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

Bulbous Nose Rhinoplasty- Realistic Results?

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The biggest limitation with achieving a more narrow, refined nasal bridge is the thickness of your nasal skin. The changes in the underlying cartilage will need to be significant enough to be visible through the thickened overlying skin. Further, it will likely take a full year before you see the final result of a rhinoplasty. I hope this information is helpful. 

Bulbous tip

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Your tip is bulbous and the limiting factor to refinement will be the thickness of the soft tissue coverage.  Best to be seen in person for evaluation.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

It's all about the skin

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The amount of tip refinement possible is ultimately controlled by skin thickness.  Of the photos you showed, the one of Kim Kardashian might be somewhat more realistic than the others.  The last photo you showed is definitely unrealistic in my opinion.  You need to have a surgeon examine your nose to evaluate the skin thickness and the quality of the underlying cartilage.  I would be confident that you could achieve some refinement, but to what degree may be debatable.

Matthew Bridges, MD
Richmond Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Rhinoplasty for a bulbous nose

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Dear Sophiaa,

  1. You can definitely have a more refined tip
  2. The real question to answer is what kind of nose would fit your face
  3. You don't want people to comment on your nose after surgery, because that would make it an obvious sign of plastic surgery, instead you would rather have people compliment other features of your face, like your eyes or lips
  4. When you are ready, please see a rhinoplasty specialist that can address all of your concerns

Best regards,

Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 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.