How much smaller can my big nose be made? (photos)

I have a really wide nose with a bulbous tip, large nostrils and my nose is also projected too far from my face. It's not harmonious with the rest of my face. My brother has had rhinoplasty done on his nose but he thinks it's still too big, I'm worried this will happen to me. How much smaller it can actually be made? I want to be realistic but not be left with a nose that is still too big. I am booking my consultation tomorrow so I guess I will find out in a few weeks. Thanks in advance!

Doctor Answers 9

Rhinoplasty to reduce the overall size and refine the tip

Thank you for your question and for posting photos. Based on your photos you are a good candidate for rhinoplasty to reduce the overall size of your nose, refine and lift the tip. The dorsum would be brought down and the nasal bones narrowed. The tip would be de projected (made less prominent), slightly rotated, and overall refined. This would be done to create harmony with your facial features. 

While your photos are helpful and recommending general options, in-person consultation with a board certified facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon who is experienced in rhinoplasty is an important next step.

Best of luck

Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Wide Nose With Bulbous Tip - How To Improve?

Choosing the right plastic surgeon is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life. It is very important that your plastic surgeon understands the aesthetic you want, and helps to educate you so you can make the best decision possible in terms of how you will look for the rest of your life. After over two decades of experience, I can attest to the fact that it is crucial to assess all of your facial features to determine what shape/size nose will harmonize with your face. I hope your consultation went well, and that your surgeon listened to all of your concerns and answered all of your questions.

Nasal tip de-projection

Hello and thank you for your question. Based on your photograph, you may benefit from a tip refining rhinoplasty. Your surgeon can accomplish this by trimming, suturing, and reshaping the cartilage in your lower nose. Cartilage grafts may also be used to help improve tip refinement. You may also benefit from a nasal tip de-projection to make the overall size of your nose smaller and a conservative dorsal hump reduction.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and not just a computer animation system. The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews


Thank you for your question.

I would recommend scheduling a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty so that they can perform a nasal examination on you and give you the best recommendations. The key is not to reduce the size of the nose to make it “smaller”, you want to reduce and refine your nose so it is proportional to the rest of your face. Based on your photographs, you may benefit from a tip rhinoplasty which includes trimming the lower lateral cartilages and placing precision sutures to refine the tip and make it look more pleasing along with shaving down excess cartilage or bone from the bridge. The combination of the two should help reduce the projection of your nose. I hope this helps.
Best of luck in your endeavors!

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Rhinoplasty candidate, some advices:

Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us.

The harmony between facial parts makes us instinctively recognize the beauty... without knowing it, without defining it, just a perception that surprises and captivates us.

In this regard, I suggest perform a Closed Rhinoplasty (without visible scars) to treat the tip, base and nasal bridge.
With this procedure you get a delicate nose, better harmonize with your other facial features.

Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

How much smaller can my big nose be made?

Greetings you are a very good candidate for Rhinoplasty 

There are different kinds of rhinoplasty operations however we can divide them as the one that requires bone excision and the one that does not need bone excision. The main fact that we classify the rhinoplasty operations like that is that the results and postoperative period is associated closely with this fact. In the operations like “nasal tip correction”, “simple rhinoplasty” there is no need for a bone excision however these minor operations cannot be beneficial for everyone. The operation type is need to be determined by the surgeon according to needs of the patient. In these minor operations the rhinoplasty is performed with closed method. The bone and the cartilage tissues are not involved in the surgery directly. Small nasal bumps can be removed in these operations.

In the operation that needs the bone and cartilage tissues to be involved; open approach is used. In the procedures with open approach, the size, shape and functionality of the nose can be improved. The big nasal bumps can be removed and septal deviations can be corrected providing a better nasal airway.

Rhinoplasty candidate

A full set of photographs are required to make a formal determination about how much the nose can be made smaller. Many patients who have an overly projecting nose also need a chin implant procedure due to a weak and recessive  chin profile. Digital computer imaging performed in the office setting would be helpful to understand what can and cannot be accomplished with the procedure. The dorsal hump can be reduced, the nose de- projected, and the bulbous tip refined along with narrowing the bridge line. For more information and many examples, please see the link and the video below 

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 126 reviews


I think you are an excellent candidate for a Rhinoplasty.  You must be certain that you go to someone who is an expert in this procedure and not just someone who might be an expert in facelifting or Breast Augmentation.  I would not allow anyone to operate on you who has not done several hundred cases and who cannot show you many previous before and after photos of patients who had similar concerns.

You appear to have normal skin thickness and nasal tip support so those are good predictors of a successful outcome but I agree with the previous posters who mention imaging as a way of communicating goals with your selected surgeon.  Finally there is nothing wrong with getting a couple of opinions and beware of anyone who is trying to sell you on their services.  The most competent Rhinoplasty Surgeons do not have to sell themselves.

S. Randolph Waldman, MD
Lexington Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 14 reviews


You are a set up to a great result. It can be made significantly smaller but that is not necessarily the object. It should have the right proportions and shape to make you happy, not just the "smallest possible". Be clear with your goals at your consult. Take magazine photos if they would help. Hopefully your surgeon will either draw or use computer imaging to give ou an idea of what could be done. God luck.

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.