Realistic Expectations for Rhinoplasty? (photo)

Hi all, I've wanted a smaller nose since I was 12 years old. It always seemed too "French" for my petite face, especially at the tip where it gets quite bulbous. I'm envisioning a less-pronounced bridge, a more refined tip that's roughly the same width as my bridge, and slight repositioning of the nostrils to suit the smaller tip. Here's a few pictures I photoshopped to show what I'm hoping it will look like post-op. Let me know if my expectations are achievable. Thanks so much!

Doctor Answers 15

Excellent Candidate

It appears that you would be an excellent candidate for rhinoplasty.  There are a number of features that are addressed with planning a nose refinement case.  (1) The flow from the eyebrow to the tip of the nose.  (2) The progression from the top to the bottom of the nose.  (3) The way the tip appears relative to the dorsum ( profile and frontal views).  (4) The tip anatomy and its relationship to the rest of the nose.  (5) Its airway functioning.  These amongst others are all taken into account.  When you are seen for consultation, get a sense that the surgeon expresses these considerations and examines your nose and the internal airway.  Some surgeons will even use imaging to assist themselves with a surgical plan and reveal to their patient an attempt to see what they may look like with the nose surgery.  I think your expectations are achievable.  It’s just a matter to discuss this with your surgeon, that is, your interests and what you do and do not like about your nose.

Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 111 reviews

Realistic Expectations for Rhinoplasty?

Dear LolaD,

thank you for your question and photos.  Yes, I believe in the right hands these results are achievable.  The following is a 'real life' example to give you guidance.

Best wishes,

Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Realistic Expectations for Rhinoplasty?

 Please share this answer with your parents if you are under 18.  The photoshopped photos of your nose include a decrease in the projection, of the nasal tip.  While Rhinoplasty can reduce the nasal bridge and refine the tip, I'm not certain that the tip needs to have the projection decreased.  Have several in person consultations, with your parents, with experienced Rhinoplasty Surgeons.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Refinement of the Nasal Tip and Bridge in Rhinoplasty

Hi Lola, thanks for the questions and photos. You would be a very good candidate for rhinoplasty and the results you have photoshopped are quite realistic. I particularly like the natural looking image you created with your profile view. 

It is my preference to use a combination of conservative shaving of the tip cartilages (cephalic trim), suture techniques (flattening sutures, individual domal sutures) and possible cartilage grafts (lateral crural strut grafts), to narrow and refine the tip while still maintaining the strength and integrity of the underlying structure of the nose. Shaving of the upper portion of the septal cartilage and the nasal bones would lower the height of your bridge as well. Small, controlled fractures of the nasal bones, called lateral osteotomies, may be needed. Either an open or endonasal approach maybe possible, though this would depend on the preference and experience of your surgeon. You should be sure to consult with a few board-certified facial plastic surgeons and plastic surgeons who perform a large volume of rhinoplasty, as this surgery definitely requires a great deal of specific training and experience. Computer imaging during your consultation can be helpful to further solidify your aesthetic goals. 

Best regards,

Dr. Mehta

Umang Mehta, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Rhinoplasty and a bulbous tip

Rhinoplasty can help you achieve the desired nose you have shown in your excellent photoshoped picture. Your tip will need special attention as the skin needs to thinned in order to get a good redraping, otherwise, the tip may not changes as much as one desires

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Rhinoplasty for bulbous tip and dorsal projection

 The bulbous tip is best addressed by tip suturing techniques and a conservative cartilage removal. The  de-projection of the nose  is accomplished by  shaving down the cartilaginous dorsal septum. Narrowing the nostrils is performed with an alar-plasty.   All of these maneuvers can be performed by closed rhinoplasty techniques under general anesthesia, as an outpatient  procedure. Virtual rhinoplasty surgery is also available  on our website. Please see the link below for examples of  noses similar to your own who have undergone rhinoplasty in our practice 

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

Real expectations with rhinoplasty

I think the photos that you have created her for yourself are very obtainable.  I would consult with a number of surgeons before proceeding but I think that your rhinoplasty goals are realistic.  If you are in San Francisco, CA as indicated a good place to start would be with David Mabrie or Umang Metha. . .or myself.

The one change that you're seeking is the nostril re-positioning.  I don't see much change in your simulation and I don't think they would change dramatically in any negative way with your surgery.

Chase Lay, MD

Chase Lay, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Realistic Goals for Rhinoplasty

Dear LolaD,

Your expectations are reasonable.

Please keep in mind that a computer simulation is merely a simulation, and that your tissues may respond slightly differently.

Please see an experienced, Board Certified surgeon for an evaluation and to discuss your concerns.

Warmest wishes,

Larry Fan, MD

Larry Fan, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 14 reviews


It is best to be seen in person to be properly evaluated.  Computer imaging does not always coincide with final results because of the underlying architecture and skin response.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Realistic expectations with rhinoplasty.

Realistic expectations with rhinoplasty is one of the most important things in rhinoplasty. Your expectations are appropriate. See an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon for best results. 

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.