Round nostrils, would tip sutures change nostril shape to almonds and hold up over long-term?

Hi I have round nostrils and I'm interested in knowing if tip sutures to change nostril shape - converting round nostrils to almond shape nostrils - would be effective & hold over the long-term? I also have a big tip and medium thick skin that is oily. Thank you

Doctor Answers 11

Tip sutures and nostril shape

If the nostrils are round with tip sutures you can expect some elongation (a more oval or almond shape) IF you are ALSO performing maneuvers to give the tip more projection.  I think the information provided by Dr. Kim and Dr. Portuese was very good so there you have it.  Get a few consults with board-certified facial plastic surgeons before proceeding. You also want to see someone who obviously performs rhinoplasty regularly.

Chase Lay, MD

Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Round nostrils, would tip sutures change nostril shape to almonds and hold up over long-term?

It is possible to change the shape of your nostrils from round to more oval. Having pictures of your nose would be helpful.

Fred Suess, MD (retired)
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews


It i impossible to give an opinion without photos. The appearance of your nostrils is the result of several different aspects of your nose. The size and support of the tip, the height of the dorsum, and width of the base of the nose are the most major determinants. The thickness you describe would also make a difference. Perhaps you should go get a consult. Good luck.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Suture techniques of the nasal tip to reduce the bulbous tip cartilages

Suture techniques of the nasal tip are performed along with a conservative cartilage removal when patients have a wide and bulbous nasal tip cartilages. Suture techniques are not used to change the shape of the nostrils. Thick skin will be a significant impediment to seeing very refined results in the tip of the nose. For more information about bulbous tip reduction, please see the link and the video below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Changing nostril shape

You can alter the shape of the nostrils with a rhinoplasty, but this usually comes as a result of a combination of procedures. To change the nostril shape you may have to increase your tip projection alone or also combine this with an alar base reduction. This would provide the greatest change in nostril shape, but this is difficult to assess without seeing pictures of your nose currently. The one downside is that incisions for the alar base reduction can be visible long term after surgery, and healing can be prolonged in the face of thicker, more sebaceous skin. Increasing tip projection helps as you are essentially "elongating" the circle into more of an oval shape. The one caveat to this is having thicker skin. Unfortunately, that is one aspect of your nose you simply cannot change, and can sometimes limit the overall change, especially in the face of a subtle enhancement, like the nostrils.

Haena Kim, MD
Walnut Creek Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Nasal Shaping

This is a thoughtful question. The short answer is yes tip sutures can change the shape of the nostrils. The problem with tip sutures alone is over the long term. Most surgeons are now leaning towards cartilage grafting the nasal tip and alar (side rim of nose) areas if changes are sought after. 

The cartilage will last forever. It is your own cartilage and typically taken from the nasal septum, ear or rib. It makes sense if you think about it. Cartilage and the skin soft tissue is what gives your nose shape right now, so when you want this changed we try and do it as natural as possible. 

Having medium thick skin that is oily is good and bad. It is good because it allows a smooth result with less imperfections post operatively. It is bad because there is typically more swelling post operatively which will increase the time until you are happy with your results. 

Hope this helps.


Benjamin Caughlin, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Reshaping nose

Thank you for the question and at a complimentary consultation by an expert in the field who uses digital photography, you will be able to see what can and what cannot be accomplished with your nose and become informed how.  So go on some consultations with experts that use this technique

Dr. Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Round nostrils, would tip sutures change nostril shape to almonds and hold up over long-term?

Dear sanfran103

The shape and size of your nostril is formed by different components of your nose. Tip sutures can narrow the upper part of the opening while the ala can flare our if alar base is not addressed. In some cases, lateral struts can resolve this issue and in others other maneuvers. The nose is a three dimensional structure and frankly it takes many years and hundreds of rhinoplasties to appreciate its complexity. Look for experienced and properly trained Plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic surgery (or Facial), see more than one consult and make a well informed decision.

Afshin Parhiscar, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Alar base resection vs tip sutures

Thanks for the great question. More commonly, nostril shape is a result of an alar base reduction which does help turn rounder nostrils into a more almond shape. Tip modification can help as well, but is done more to changed the shape of the tip itself. I would go see someone who has experience doing rhinoplasty surgery as they will be able to give you an idea of what is attainable through surgery. Best of luck!

~Dr. Sieber

David A. Sieber, MD
Bay Area General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Round Nostrils

Pictures would be helpful for us to make suggestions. It sounds like you need a tip-plasty to reduce the size and improve the contour of your wide tip with thick skin. In some patients like you it is also helpful to narrow the nasal base.  

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