Translation for a Rhinoplasty Recommendation..."dorsum" & "Suprstip?

Recommendation I received for my rhinoplasty except I don't fully understand... "lower ever so slightly your dorsum to achieve a slight "suprstip" dip"

Doctor Answers 7

Yes, rhinoplasty has its own jargon. We can help.

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Dear  Lynn2569;

What the surgeon is telling you is that you would lower your bridge just a bit, so that the profile of your nose will be slightly lower than the tip.  If the tip rises slightly above the remaining profile of the nose, that is considered very attractive, particularly for women. 

Have you seen the doctor’s rhinoplasty conception for you, on a computer-imaging screen?  If not, I suggest you do.  This will be very helpful to you; immediately, words will be transformed into images, and that is really what you need.  This will help you better digest the recommendation. 

Computer imaging is a great tool to create a common ground of understanding between the surgeon’s concept, your desire, and the surgeon’s artistic tastes.  Of course, the surgeon must be capable of delivering a result that pretty closely matches the computer image portrayed on the screen.

You may need to have one or more consultations to get a sense of what looks good and what you like, but that is okay.  Remember, it is best to have only one rhinoplasty.  You do not want to have a rhinoplasty and then have regrets because you did not do enough homework before surgery.

Robert Kotler, MD, FACS
Facial Plastic Surgeon

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Recommendation I received for my rhinoplasty except I don't fully understand... "lower ever so slightly your dorsum to achieve a

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 The supra tip dip is the aesthetically correct depression just behind the nasal tip when looking at the nose on profile.  This is an expression, of the aesthetic nasal principle, that states that the nasal tip is the highest point, of the nose when seen on profile.  The dorsum, of your nose must be equal or higher than the nasal tip hence the recommended adjustment during Rhinoplasty.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Explain Dorsum and Supratip

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In addition to the other answers to your question, it may be a good idea to ask your surgeon to show you on your picture so that you can better understand the plan and desired outcome.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Tip rhinoplasty

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The dorsum is the most frontal part of the bridge on a side view. Supratip is the area between the bridge and the tip, best seen on a side view. A supratip break or dip refers to the small concave area just above the tip as seen on a side view. A subtle supratip break is one of the goals of rhinoplasty surgery.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

What does dorsum and supratip mean

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Dorsum is another name for your nasal bridge. The supratip is the area of the bridge just above the tip. A supratip dip (or supratip break) means that the bridge above the tip is lower that the tip. The result is a gentle curve of the profile line out toward the tip.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Translation of Rhinoplasty Terms

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The "dorsum" is the line of the bridge above the tip that you see when looking at your profile. When we talk about a "supratip break" we are saying that the tip should project  forward in front of the dorsum, again on the profile view, so there is a break between the tip and the rest of the profile. Hope this helps.   

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Profile terminology

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The dorsum refers to the top ridge of the nose - think the peak of an A frame house.  Most patients and doctors like a smooth dorsum.  The question is, what happens when you get to the tip cartilages?  If there is a clear change in slope between the dorsum and cartilages - think a gentle hockey stick shape - we call this a supra tip break.  You just need to bring in some dorsum to tip transitions that you like to your surgeon to decide what you prefer and if that look is possible for your nose.  Remember, anatomy always beats desire.

Mark D. Wigod, MD
Boise Plastic Surgeon

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.